The theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week – which runs from February 7-13 – is ‘Build the Future’, focussing on how apprenticeships can benefit individuals, organisations and local communities. The ‘Build the Future’ theme – now in its second year – will shine a spotlight on how apprenticeships can help individuals develop the skills and knowledge required to have a rewarding career, and how businesses can develop a talented workforce which is equipped with future-ready skills.
Despite the COVID-19 turmoil that has swept the world over the last two years, compounded in the UK with Brexit, the skills gap and shortage is still by far and away the most pressing and threatening issue facing UK industries from culture and Leisure, to STEM , to the service sector and beyond. The strains on the logistics sector in late Autumn and the Health care sector in the lead up to Christmas are likely to be common themes in the coming 18 months.
The Further Education and work based learning sector has shown itself in a very positive light during this period with the challenge to open and quickly install remote learning and interaction. Demonstrating the extraordinary levels of creativity and determination within our space and also the high levels of quality and ability to further promote inclusion, safe guarding etc during the height of the pandemic is testament to the leaders and professionals across our sector.
The end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 has definitely put the magnifying glass on the skills shortage and challenge for talent within the education sector. I know from speaking to providers across the board the challenge is finding experienced quality people to join their teams while also balancing the books as wage demands for new talent and existing colleagues rise. Coupled with the outside pressure of the cost of living rising exponentially in the coming months, keeping people in and attracting people to join the work based learning sector for both independent providers and collage providers is likely going to be a challenge troupe of 2022.
Speaking to friends across the recruitment and talent world, they too are facing similar dilemmas in “job filling” at present the choice and variety that good quality candidates have is pretty unprecedented and a world away from expectations from mid-March 2020!
Its not all doom and gloom, the sector is awash with funding from DPS contracts locally procured, to further devolved funding across AEB, T-levels, the NPF being launched, more incentives and the testimonial growth from apprentices over the last five years showing a different root to a professional career is something for us all to celebrate in.
I hope that the National Apprentice Week can tap into this positivity and encourage more people into this exciting, dynamic and rewarding world.f
So… How will you celebrate and promote NAW 2022 and help Build the Future? What are your expectations for the apprenticeship sector over the next 12 months?
NAW 2022 events
Over 1,200 virtual and in-person events will take place across England this week to mark NAW 2022. Said events will be targeted at a range of audiences, including stakeholders, businesses, schools and training providers.
For a full list of this year’s NAW events, head over to www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/influencers/naw2022-events-listing where you can filter by region.
The NAW 2022 Toolkit
The government has developed the NAW 2022 Toolkit to help you plan and promote your National Apprenticeship Week activities. It contains a supporter guide, activity pack, logos, social media assets and more.
How you can get involved
You can show your support for NAW 2022 by: