‘Apprenticeships Work’ is the theme for the week as up and down the country people celebrate the 11th National Apprenticeship Week.
During the week employers and apprentices from across England will come together to celebrate the success of apprenticeships whilst encouraging even more people to choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a great career.
The launch event was held at the BBC, and the corporation took the opportunity to announce a new apprenticeship programme that will be based in london and Salford. It will help 50 school leavers from socially diverse backgrounds to apply for apprenticeships at the BBC and the wider creative sector. It will be run in partnership with the Sutton Trust.
They are not the only ones who offer apprenticeships though. Many organisations offer apprenticeships, having realised the huge potential of bringing fresh talent into the mix. The creative sector is a powerhouse to the UK economy, bringing in £91.8bn in 2016, has fully embraced apprenticeships.
The Guardian recently published a feature looking at apprenticeships in the creative sector, and details how the sector has transformed as a result of the earn while you learn model. They specifically focused on how broadcasters are offering an alternative route into the industry through apprenticeships, both on and behind the camera.
Speaking to The Guardian, Channel 4 talent specialist Laura Boswell said:
“Attitudes to apprenticeships generally have changed quite a lot, and for the better. We are taking on more apprentices than ever before – 17 last year – and, alongside other broadcasters, we’re offering new opportunities, such as in digital marketing and cybersecurity.”
The same post also listed a number of creative organisations that are offering apprenticeships, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, The Royal Opera House and UK Music.
Indeed, we have found that apprenticeships can be a great way to get into that creative career, with many members of the Voice team - past and present - successfully completing an apprenticeship that has helped jumpstart their professional life. Take a look at blog posts written by Josh and Luke – both completed creative apprenticeships and now work in the industry!
Elspeth was on the Youth Network, and completed an apprenticeship with Artswork Ltd. and now works for Chichester Theatre as the LEAP Officer!
Keeping traditional trade alive
Apprenticeships don’t just have to a stepping stone to get into new media and digital skill based jobs. They are also being used to keep traditional trades alive.
The BBC featured five young people who have taken up apprenticeships in some of Britain’s oldest trades, including leatherwork, globe-making and paper making.
The Heritage Crafts Association is calling for more funding to help craftspeople provide training. It states that just training an apprentice for a single day can reduce a craftperson's income by 20%, and that there is a real lack of craft career education in schools.
With such jobs, university isn’t always the right place to learn the skills required, and therefore apprenticeships are a must to keep the industry thriving.
What’s great is that your apprenticeship can also tie into your Arts Award.
Gold in particular lends itself well to working alongside an apprenticeship scheme, with Unit 1 focused on personal development through learning new skills (part A), researching and communicating an opinion (part D) and getting involved in the arts world (part B). Even part C, which is all about researching and reviewing an arts practitioner provides crucial transferable skills, and can be great for networking!
Unit 2 will help develop and demonstrate your leadership abilities as you take on the organising, executing and evaluating of an event.
Emrys has written a blog post of how you can get Gold with apprenticeships, and George Bailey, one of our readers, actually posted a blog reflecting on how his Gold Arts Award impacted his apprenticeship and helped him develop as a person.
If you want to find out more about Arts Award, you can visit the Arts Award on Voice website.
Want to start an apprenticeship?
So, with everyone raving about apprenticeships, and seeing all the great opportunities that arise from undertaking one, maybe you’ve decided that you should see what all the fuss is about. But what is the step?
There is a wealth of information available to you, if you just know where to look.
If you are looking for a pathway into arts and media, Voice has a Voicebox dedicated to kick starting your career, with helpful hints on researching training opportunities, being self employed and debating whether university is the right step for everyone.
We also have a whole career section for you to peruse. It contains interviews with professionals in the creative sector, behind-the-scene features that detail the inner workings of creative organisations, and case studies of those who have taken the first ew steps towards their professional careers.
The Government website has a lot of great information on becoming an apprentice, with hints and tips on what to do to write a great application and even help in finding you one.
Get In, Go Far (also Government run) also has good information on how becoming an apprentice can be the start of your career, and provides some fantastic case studies. Their Twitter is also especially active!
You could also take a look at Creative Skillset, who have a section dedicated to apprenticeships – breaking down what an apprenticeship is, the benefits, and even information to employers.