As the Government consults on increasing public sector apprenticeships, an increasing number of primary and secondary schools are witnessing the multiple benefits of taking on apprentices in positions from Business Administrators to Teaching Assistants.
Over the past year, National Schools Training (NST), the largest provider of apprenticeships in schools in England, has seen an increase of over 60% of people taking up apprenticeships as part of their campaign, “One By 2020”, which aims for there to be an apprentice in every school by 2020. The total amount of learners grew from 1,326 in January 2015 to 2,147 in January 2016 and NST have now delivered apprenticeships in over 2,000 schools – a campaign milestone.
NST apprenticeships are making a huge impact on schools across the country. NST’s focus on quality is demonstrated by impressive learner success rates, often hitting 95% for some frameworks. This success is particularly evident amongst those starting apprenticeships between the ages of 16 and 18 years old who are using the training as a launch pad into employment or additional education.
The benefits are being seen by school staff and apprentices alike:
Ø Assistant Principal of The Clarendon Academy, Julie Thomas, has increased the number of apprenticeships available in school from one to three after a successful first year, with hopes for further increases in future.
Ø Walwayne Court Primary School Teaching Assistant Apprentice, Holly White, has progressed into her second year as a Level 2 apprentice and has highlighted the benefit of a “learning on the job” route, saying she would “definitely recommend the apprenticeship”.
Ø Head teacher of The John of Gaunt School, Mike Gunston, identifies the availability of the apprenticeships in schools as a positive viable alternative progression route for young people who wouldn’t ordinarily wish to attend sixth form. The school has a Level 2 Apprentice in the position of facilities management.
The NST campaign ties in with the Government’s own target – to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. The Government has earmarked the public sector for the delivery of a significant number of these apprenticeships, cited in a speech by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in December 2015 and announced in a consultation today (25th January 2016). Schools can make a significant contribution towards achieving this.
Commenting, National Schools Training (NST) Director Lee Povah, said:
“It’s great to see how schools are realising the multiple benefits of taking on apprentices, and that the Government are recognising the importance and value of apprenticeships across the public sector.
“Schools are realising the huge contribution an apprentice can make to school performance, and young adults are embracing this alternative progression route which is often more desirable than other options.
“The One By 2020 campaign has made significant progress already with over 2,000 schools taking on at least one apprentice – however there is a long way to go to achieve the ambition of every school having an apprentice.
“We will be responding to the Government’s consultation and are working with policymakers to help realise this vision and encourage head teachers, school business managers and others who might be interested in an apprenticeship to get in touch!”