Every year I look forward to National Apprenticeship week as the time to recognise and celebrate the impact that Apprenticeships have on people’s lives, whether it be building a career, growing a business or retaining talent for the future – all Apprenticeships have a story to tell of how they build futures.
This year has been a year unlike any other we’ve yet to experience and for businesses of all sectors and sizes including further education Colleges, working through these challenges in a crisis has been nothing but a sign of sheer strength and resilience to overcome obstacles far beyond what we would ever imagine.
None of the businesses we work with have been unaffected this year. For some, it has meant being at the forefront of keeping the country going as keyworkers and for some their day-to-day business has had to close and they’ve had to furlough members of staff.
We have also seen innovation and creativity as employers find ways to work around the problems faced – interviewing and recruiting staff online, conducting business in new ways and even changing their business model as a result of the pandemic.
Whatever situation our employers have found themselves in throughout these unprecedented times, they have continued to support the college and our students. I have been amazed by the generosity and goodwill that has been shown at a time that has impacted everyone in some way.
It is therefore in our hearts to stop and reflect on the incredible employer partners and apprentices we’ve worked with throughout these challenging times.
This generation of young people have been severely impacted too –schooling being paused and remote, lack of social interactions, exams being delayed or cancelled, grades being predicted, and progression routes delayed and disrupted. Let’s remember they are our future workforce that will develop the skills and knowledge that build the future!
So in National Apprenticeships Week 2021 let’s appreciate all that is good from this experience, share the learning and continue to work together to support apprentices, students and our business community!
Liz Redwood, Head of Employer Relations