Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week: The importance of apprenticeships
By Bruntwood Works
This week (8th - 14th February) we’re celebrating the amazing work and contribution of our apprentices throughout the business for National Apprenticeship Week 2021.
The 14th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships is this year focusing on ‘Build the Future’, taking a look at how we can train and retrain with apprenticeships and what can be achieved.
Apprenticeships can open up new and exciting career paths for people. And, as we look towards the recovery from the pandemic, apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity to get people back into employment, help them to future proof their careers and create a fair and equal society for all.
We spoke to Talent Development Coordinator at Bruntwood, Jade Gates to find out more about apprenticeships and the benefits they bring to both individuals and businesses.
Why are apprenticeships so important to Bruntwood?
Making sure that people have access to as many opportunities to improve their skills and talent is something that we’re hugely committed to - it’s one of the crucial elements to creating thriving cities, which is our overarching purpose at Bruntwood. Apprenticeships are a great way of opening up and providing opportunities for all - regardless of background, gender or race. This creates a more inclusive and fair society and in turn helps our cities to thrive, and this is massively important to us at Bruntwood. Over the years, we’ve been pleased to support a whole host of apprentices as they start to shape their careers and their worlds. Previously, we’ve always supported apprentices in vocational roles that you might expect to see this type of training, including plumbing, electrical and HVAC. In more recent years, as the scope of the types of apprenticeships has expanded, we have widened the breadth of apprenticeships we offer too, to take advantage of some of the innovative and exciting new courses on offer.
How do apprenticeships fit into Bruntwood’s skills and talent agenda?
We believe in growing our own people and helping to shape the careers of our colleagues. We’re prepared to do this even if it’s a longer route than recruiting at the level needed, as our culture is all about developing our people and creating a real learning environment. Apprenticeships will always be a key part of our skills and talent agenda. As an inclusive employer, if we want to bring in a diverse range of talent from different backgrounds, reflective of our communities, it’s important to think about apprenticeships with this.
How do you think apprenticeships can help businesses and individuals recover from the pandemic?
Apprenticeships are going to be so beneficial to the recovery from the pandemic. We need to keep up momentum and continue nurturing and developing the skills of the workforce of the future. Without this momentum, we risk not having vital skills and people in the future that will be needed to help our businesses and cities thrive.
And let’s not forget existing colleagues too. Apprenticeships are open to all ages and we believe that in addition to recruiting apprentices into the business, we must remain committed to upskilling our existing colleagues with apprenticeships and making sure they have the skills that they need now and in the future.
Why do you think apprenticeships are good for businesses?
Apprentices bring in new ideas and new ways of thinking. Apprentices will learn best practices in their relevant industries from their training provider, which they can then bring into businesses to suggest news ways of improvement. Investing in talent from the offset means that they can develop and grow with the business and it’s this commitment that will mean that they are more likely to want to stay and grow with us. Apprenticeships also offer the opportunity to upskill and re-skill and stay connected to what is happening externally and keep us ahead with what our cities need.
What do you think individuals get from apprenticeships that they might not do going down the university or college route? Or straight into work?
An apprenticeship offers the opportunity to learn from industry experts, both through training providers and from colleagues in the business. An apprentice can learn the theory and then practically apply this in the workplace while getting guidance from colleagues in the business. Apprentices have a great network of support both from the training provider and the business and it’s this which really makes for a great learning experience.