South Bristol Voice – February 2022

February 2022 sees the return of National Apprenticeship Week.  Now in its 15th year, the week-long celebration of apprenticeships runs from 7th to 13th of February, with the theme ‘Build the Future’.  

National Apprenticeship Week is always a great  opportunity to bring together businesses and apprentices across the country.  By raising awareness of the benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals, businesses and local communities, we can encourage people of any age to reach their career goals by building their skills and knowledge through an apprenticeship. 

Apprenticeships play a hugely important role across South Bristol.  Bristol City Council have a sterling track record on this issue, while our local NHS, social care providers and major employer Airbus are taking on apprentices. My annual Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair will be returning later in the year with a wide range of businesses and organisations in attendance.  The date is still to be confirmed so do keep an eye on my social media for updates!

Yet despite this good work, there are still many  misconceptions about what apprenticeships are and who they are for. So while it’s true that they are great for young people fresh from schools or college, they are also a brilliant option for those at a later stage of their working life, including upskilling in your current job.  Apprenticeships are paid jobs, where you’ll learn and gain experience ready for your chosen career, and take between one and six years to complete. 

Crucially, they allow people to gain and build the skills and confidence they need for the future, and can also be really valuable for businesses to invest in.  Apprentices form an important part of any organisation and help businesses develop a talented workforce equipped with future-ready skills.  It’s important that employers are aware of the valuable return on their investment when apprentices are brought into the businesses, and it’s always great to see organisations showcasing this. 

Apprenticeships are not just limited to certain industries either, they can offer fantastic pathways to skilled careers across a wide range of occupations and sectors from construction, to catering, education, health and social care and much more.  I’d encourage current apprentices and employers of apprentices to come out in support of National Apprenticeship Week to share the positive impact it has had on their careers, businesses and communities. 

Through new emerging green technologies and efforts to combat the climate emergency by making housing and businesses more sustainable, there are more green jobs and roles being created every day.  An apprenticeship is the perfect way to adapt your current skills and knowledge to this emerging green industry and start a new career ready for the future.

Becoming an apprentice really does change lives, so this National Apprenticeship Week let’s celebrate the positive impact of apprenticeships on individuals, businesses and public services, and encourage more people to get involved by showing how apprenticeships can help Build The Future.