Chris Roberts, regional director, Learning and Skills Council (LSC) North East, reveals the importance of Apprenticeships.
A CHAT with your grandparents, or a glance through the history books, will reveal that craftspeople have passed their skills down the line for years.
Although this is likely to be different from what happens today, no doubt these early arrangements helped pave the way for the more structured Apprenticeships we have become accustomed to.
In the current economic climate, some people might believe that spending valuable time and resources on improving the skills of the workforce is not a top priority.
However, now more than ever, it is important to invest in the very people who will drive your business forward.
Hailed as one of the most effective ways of increasing work skills, Apprenticeships have a significant role to play in this.
Providing the key
AS a business you might find yourself competing with organisations which can supply products more cheaply.
As an individual looking for a new job you might find yourself competing with a bigger pool of potential recruits.
And as a school, college or university leaver you might find yourself competing to get a foothold on the career ladder.
Today’s Apprenticeships provide the perfect balance of hands-on, work-related training with underpinning theory and nationally recognised qualifications.
Because each Apprenticeship has been designed and developed by employers who work in specific industry sectors, you can be assured that the training and skills are relevant to the world of work.
Over the past 10 years, the type and quality of Apprenticeship on offer has improved dramatically.
More and more people are starting and completing Apprenticeships than ever before.
And thousands of individuals and employers are reaping the benefits.
Last year alone 224,000 people started an Apprenticeship in the UK, proving it is a very popular choice.
Opening more doors
A LITTLE over a year ago, the Government revealed its plans to extend and strengthen the Apprenticeship Programme.
As well as making Apprenticeships a mainstream choice for 16- to 18-year-olds, alongside other education and training routes, there is set to be significant growth in Apprenticeships for older learners too.
As testament to the success of the programme in providing on-the-job training in skilled professions, the Government has recently pledged to fund an extra 35,000 Apprenticeships nationally.
This is on top of its commitment to increase spending on Apprenticeships in the next year to almost £1bn nationally.