Steve Boam, Develop Consulting CEO
As we begin National Apprenticeship Week 2024, we want to underscore the paramount importance of apprenticeships in shaping the future of industries in the UK.
This year’s theme, ‘Skills for Life,’ resonates profoundly, emphasises the enduring impact of skills gained through apprenticeship experiences, the value of mentoring and learning from experience. In the past, becoming an apprentice was an honour and a sought-after privilege. Working alongside experienced hands not only imparted skills but shaped behaviour and work ethic. This doesn’t seem to exist so much anymore, but it’s important to get this back-on-track.
With sectors facing shortages of skills and resources post-Brexit and with the cost of living crisis, apprenticeships emerge as a vital lifeline for British industry.
Acknowledging the diminishing skill set in traditional sectors like Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, and also in the NHS. Apprentices are a great way to regenerate a generation of skills currently missing in our country.
There is a misconception that persists among younger generations about lower pay and prospects in these sectors. It’s time to debunk these myths and showcase the exciting opportunities they offer. Careers in these sectors can be exciting, rewarding and at the forefront of technology, innovation and product development.
Recent figures from the Construction Industrial Training Board (CITB) highlight the urgent need for skilled workers, projecting a demand for an additional 216,800 workers in the construction sector over the next five years. This is similar in many other industries and the NHS also have more than double this number of staff shortages.
Businesses, regardless of size, can derive immense value from apprenticeships, contributing to the regeneration of a new generation of skilled workers.
While large OEMs have embraced apprenticeship programs, smaller SMEs can also benefit and overcome misconceptions about time and cost commitments to support an apprentice.
Our clients, including many SMEs, proudly support apprenticeship schemes. We have been mentors and coaches to their staff, including apprentices. Our experienced consultants, who some of which started as apprentices, are living proof of the transformative impact apprenticeships can have on one’s career.
For more details about National Apprenticeship Week, visit www.appreticeships.gov.uk