February/March 2021

The most important National Apprenticeship Week ever

We have recently celebrated National Apprenticeship Week (8 – 14 February).

It was very different this year, like so many other events and celebrations. Many innovative digital events were held across the country to celebrate all that is great about apprenticeships. From recognising apprentices themselves and celebrating their successes as they develop great careers, to highlighting the vital contributions made by the thousands of employers who commit finance, time and resource into developing great apprentices. Also, it is important not to forget the many organisations and businesses within the apprenticeship sector, the colleges, training providers and many other supporting agencies, who particularly over the last 12 months have gone above and beyond in unprecedented circumstances.

Although different, this National Apprenticeship Week was undoubtedly the most important one the sector will experience. The theme #BuildTheFuture summarised perfectly the very positive impact that apprenticeships can have, and the week acted as a catalyst to reinvigorate and re-energise the apprenticeship landscape. The pandemic has been tough for the sector, and the number of apprenticeship opportunities created, particularly for the younger working cohort, has reduced significantly. As we slowly begin to navigate a path out of this extraordinarily challenging period in our nation’s recent history, undoubtedly, apprenticeships can be one of the many positive beacons of hope that can help drive forward career opportunities, economic prosperity and social mobility.


It is vital for both the social and economic wellbeing of the nation that the whole of our population have access to not only the best educational experiences but also a wide range of high-quality employment and apprenticeship opportunities. We must allow this generation to build their futures, to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to thrive in their chosen career. Equally, we must ensure those in work can access high quality learning that ensures they can drive forward and maximise their potential in their chosen sector. Apprenticeships are vital to this.

It is not only apprentices who can benefit. As businesses and organisations across the region and country begin sticking their heads above the pandemic parapet, re-focusing corporate goals and objectives, working out the best way of building their futures – apprenticeships and skills development must be a vital part of their plans. Many businesses have stagnated during the last twelve months, some have gone and a few have thrived. However, all should be looking to the future with a hope and optimism. To ensure this hope turns into success, businesses will need to change and adapt, not only to the post-Covid world, but also the post-Brexit period and the new digital age. What better way to adapt that by ensuring your business has the best people, highly motivated by investment in their skills, knowledge and behaviours, to drive your business forward.

Apprenticeships at Salford City College work with over 500 different businesses, supporting around 1,500 apprentices per year. Employer satisfaction is very strong, with just under 95% of employer partners rating their service as good or better. If you want to build the future of your business around skills development, please call us on 0161 631 5555 or email apprenticeships@salfordcc.ac.uk