Highlights from our Apprenticeships Live Chat

Yesterday we hosted an informative live chat about apprenticeships. We were joined by a panel of experts, and also had questions and experiences shared from some external contributors.

Firstly, let's be clear what an apprenticeship is: it's a paid training job delivered to a recognised qualification standard.

And as we heard from our guests, apprenticeships have benefits for the employer as well as the trainee - research has shown us that 96% of employers who take on apprentices report benefits to their business, with 72% of businesses reporting improved productivity. On average, an apprentice increases business productivity by £214 per week.

A good quality apprenticeship is:

  • One based on real need, that provides value to apprentice and employer.
  • One that provides authentic experience, and a series of successive learning opportunities, each building on the previous one.
  • One that includes time for reflection on strengths, weaknesses and areas for development, room to grow, and support to overcome obstacles.
  • One that provides networking opportunities with other apprentices and with members of the wider professional sector.
  • One that has established progression routes and/or access to the jobs that their investment and training deserves.

The Government's new apprenticeship structure will:

  • Help shape new qualification standards that will better complement apprentices roles and future career paths.
  • Encourage large cultural organisations to formalise their apprenticeship schemes and offer recognised routes into the sector with education support.
  • Help concentrate minds on the opportunities that apprenticeships offer in providing a practical-based route to skills acquisition.
  • Help develop workforces with skills that employers require, rather than a partly-trained one which needs further development.
  • Establish the Trailblazer scheme, whereby 10 employers come together to develop a new training standard which outlines a range of skills and aptitudes relevant to a specific job.

Have you thought about:

  • Working with a local consortium to provide small training modules through multiple employers to make up a full-time apprenticeship position?
  • Using online learning portals to provide training to geographically disparate apprentices?

We'd love to hear more from you about your experience of, and tips for, delivering heritage skills apprenticeships. And if you have any further questions and/or comments, please do post those below, too.