Apprenticeships - far more than just workplace training
When you think about apprenticeship training, you probably associate it with seasoned professionals passing on their industry experience to young people in the workplace.
Student Progression Manager Jennifer Phillips with Sam Alderson, Engineering Level 3 Apprentice with Sheers, Darlington.
But at SWDT apprentices receive so much more personalised support to prepare them for the start of their careers.
Highly qualified progression coaches - who are careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) specialists - carry out career one-to-one meetings with every apprentice.
Here they receive support to develop their skills to become an effective employee, identifying their entrepreneurial skills, exploring higher education, continuous professional development, progression and promotion opportunities.
Careers advice from the award-winning Student Progression Team also includes how to write a CV that will help students stand out and help to write the perfect cover letter or application form to secure an interview.
Support is also on hand for interview preparation for that dream job, tips on how to do well in an assessment centre, help with how to use LinkedIn to get networking and how to identify transferable skills.
Apprentices are also inspired by our successful alumni who act as coaches and mentors, whilst employers provide masterclass events and industry speaker sessions.
High quality impartial and independent careers advice from the Student Progression Team is provided at all stages of an apprenticeship, so apprentices can decide their next steps, with clear career learning outcomes embedded in their training programme.
And the support does not end when an apprentice completes their training; their progress is then monitored to ensure their job is matching their expectations, with additional support provided when needed with future promotion.
Student Progression Manager Jennifer Phillips said: “We focus on really getting to know our apprentices and their career aspirations. Apprenticeships are an amazing opportunity to earn and learn at the same time and can lead to incredible careers.
“Across the Bishop Auckland College Group, we have apprenticeships across a wide range of sectors including engineering, business, construction, early years, motor vehicle and hairdressing.
“Apprentices play an important role in contributing to the long-term growth of the local economy by ensuring the pipeline of young talent into the labour market is better matched with the needs of the region’s employers. Employing an apprentice is a wonderful opportunity for employers to develop a workforce with future ready skills.”
The work of the Student Progression Team was praised by Ofsted inspectors in the recent Ofsted report (March 2023) for SWDT.
“Apprentices and learners benefit from an effective careers programme which encourages them to aspire and to understand what they need to do to progress in their chosen career. Careers staff support learners and apprentices to compose good quality curriculum vitae and applications for jobs or higher education.”
The team work closely with the college’s Apprenticeship Team and local employers to identify ‘good’ matches – providing advocacy for suitable candidates for upcoming apprenticeship vacancies.
Meanwhile, those apprentices planning to go on to study degrees are assisted with their personal statement and applications to universities.
Today we are featuring young engineers we helped to secure apprenticeships as we continue to celebrate the 17th annual National Apprenticeship Week (February 5-11), a campaign highlighting the positive impact of apprenticeships on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
This year’s theme is ‘Skills for Life’ – how apprenticeships can help young people develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career and employers to develop a workforce with future-ready skills.
Read their stories here:
#NAW2024 #SkillsForLife #engineering