Sir John Peace championed the opportunity for the Midlands to be in the vanguard of apprenticeship provision thanks to our high-skills sectors when he gave the keynote speech at the first Apprenticeships Conference, which was organised by Nottingham Trent University last week.
The Nottingham Trent University Apprenticeships Conference was held as part of National Apprenticeships Week 2020. As the keynote speaker, Sir John Peace took the opportunity to speak about the importance of apprenticeships and lifelong learning, making the point that apprenticeships are for everybody, not just for young people.
I personally am thrilled to see the renewed focus on apprenticeships as a route into the world of work, as I have long championed the fact that this can deliver benefits – not just economically, but also in terms of social mobility. ‘Social mobility’ is an often-used phrase and it’s hard sometimes to pinpoint specific things that address the many barriers for individuals which exist – and which stop our young people from achieving their true potential.
“But for me, thinking about the route to a rewarding, satisfying, challenging and positive future for so many people, and to career opportunities which will underpin prosperity in families, in communities and in every part of our region – apprenticeships deliver. Accessible, inclusive, supported learning; development of a vast range of skills and competencies; achievement of qualifications, building valuable work experience, honing professional practice. All of this is what apprenticeships deliver. Without doubt, they represent a powerful antidote to the barriers which can exist in other routes to learning and professional qualifications.
The nation’s business leaders fully support the Government’s emphasis on apprenticeships and lifelong learning. In the Learners and Apprentices Survey 2018 report:
- 78% of employers investing in apprentices saw improved productivity
- 65% recognised the new ideas apprentices bring to their organisation
- And 83% would recommend apprentices to other businesses
Sir John went on to say:
One of the messages of Apprenticeships Week 2020, is a reminder that apprentices do make an impact – that they fire up businesses in the UK. We need to cast out the outdated and inaccurate stereotypes about apprentices and recognise the array of highly skilled and technical apprenticeships on offer in the UK today. Valuable learning for employees – yes. But highly valuable contributors to our economy too.