Lockdown aside, current and future apprentices need not worry about their apprenticeship opportunities. There are lots of training and learning resources available
Current and future apprentices are probably feeling worried right now. With lockdown still largely in effect and no end to the pandemic in sight, they might have noticed that apprenticeships have been particularly affected.
Sutton Trust, which promotes improvements to social mobility and supports young people, recently revealed that “companies are furloughing or making apprenticeships redundant, off the job learning has been disrupted, and apprentices, already on low pay, have faced additional cuts”.
It’s worth bearing in mind that employers cutting back on recruitment and training isn’t unusual during a difficult economic period. The financial crisis of the previous decade had a similar effect, as businesses looked to make sure they were safe before committing to any new spending.
And organisations such as Sutton Trust are stepping up to support young people. The trust has launched its first ever apprenticeships summer school, modelled after its highly successful university summer schools, to widen access to degree and degree-level apprenticeships.
Applications for this programme, which will be online this year but face-to-face in the future, are open now. The application window closes on 28 May. You can apply here.
The programme will run over three-days between 13 and 15 July and will include:
- Interactive sessions run by leading employers, including an introduction to their business and what they look for in candidates
- Information sessions on degree level apprenticeships, including the variety of apprenticeships available, what an apprenticeship may entail, the balance of work and study
- Interaction with current apprentices, including question and answer sessions and panel discussions
- Information sessions on the application process, including where and when to make applications, and the processes employers will use in recruiting apprentices to their competitive programmes
- Skills development sessions, including preparation for interview and the selection processes
There are also a lot of things that you can do to boost your chances of getting an apprenticeship, or to keep learning and training while you’re on furlough.
- If you’re a school student on lockdown, think about your skills and interests and how you might apply them to apprenticeship
- Do some research and find out what is on offer as a potential career choice
- Get to work on your CV and covering letter, so that you’re prepared to apply when the right apprenticeship comes along
- If you’re a current apprentice on furlough, you can continue to train, either at a Covid-19-secure workplace or virtually from home
- There are also lots of online training options out there to keep you busy and learning while on lockdown. A good example is Google Digital Garage, with lots of free courses aimed at developing digital skills