What is National Apprenticeship Week 2020?

Apprenticeship employers use the opportunity to promote the success of their apprentices and highlight the huge benefits to other employers, of all sizes, who are thinking of taking on an apprentice. Apprentices across the country will also be celebrated throughout the week, with engagement and events in schools and colleges.

According to Gov.uk, National Apprenticeship Week 2019 included:

  • Over 1250 events taking place across England;
  • NAW2019, National Apprenticeship Week and #BlazeATrail all trending UK wide on Twitter over the course of the Week;
  • Over 30,000 unique visits to the NAW resource pages on GOV.UK;
  • And a hugely successful #askanapprentice day with employers, including TUI, Bentley Careers, Siemens UK, AXA Insurance and Cisco all getting involved.

This year, ‘Look Beyond’ has been announced as the theme for the 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week; the idea behind the theme is to celebrate the diversity and value that apprenticeships bring to employers, apprentices and communities across England today. From highlighting the breadth of industries and roles available to the talent and energy apprentices bring into the workplace.

Keith Smith, Director, Apprenticeships Group, ESFA said;

With National Apprenticeship Week going into its thirteenth year, everyone behind and involved in it must also ‘Look Beyond’ and consider how and where we talk about Apprenticeships, to ensure that we reach all corners and communities of the Country with this important message.

What can you do?

In order to make the most of this celebration, as a potential future apprentice, you can try to attend as many events as possible and absorb as much information about apprenticeships as possible. Going to talks, conferences and careers fairs in order to find out information and network with current apprentices and employers is a fantastic way to put yourself on the map as a potential future apprentice.

There are a lot of decisions to make when becoming an apprentice:

  • What level of apprenticeship do I want to do?
  • What qualification do I want to gain?
  • What company do I want to work for?
  • What do I want to do afterwards?/ What are my career goals?

Preparing for a conference or careers fair can seem daunting but it will make your experience so much more simple. Before you go, you should:

  • Research companies you might be interested in beforehand
  • List the apprenticeship standards that you would like to pursue
  • Bring a pen and paper to make notes – do not rely on memory
  • Pick up a map to get around

Once you’ve prepared, you can be more inquisitive and get a lot more out of the experience when you actually attend the event.

Networking with Professionals

When networking with professionals, there are some top tips to follow in order to get the most out of the experience.

  1. Be prepared - it is imperative to recognise your aims and objectives for the networking event and stick to them.
  2. Be yourself - this event is the initiation for building professional relationships. If you fail to be true to yourself, you’ll end up commencing a relationship on a lie. Being genuine is vital and has much more value than attempting to be someone you believe others are looking for - you’ll get caught out!
  3. Quality NOT quantity - avoid the thought that you have to connect with every person in the room; this will result in multiple introductory conversations that have no potential for memorability. Focus on quality: establishing fewer solid connections is better than having countless meaningless ones.
  4. Display your passion - showcase your enthusiasm and devotion, aiming to leave a lasting impression by communicating your inspiration. Don’t forget to ask them about their passion too - people enjoy talking about themselves so shared positivity is a huge part of building the foundations for a strong network.
  5. Be specific - ensure you are clear about what you do, find out exactly what they do, and work out how you can help them and they can help you.
  6. Be engaged - the construction of rapport between two people is the key to producing a connection to add to your network. And how is this done? In simple terms, act interested. Use eye contact to prove engagement, listen to what they say and ask relevant questions to find out more, nod your head and make gestures to prove you’re listening and finally lean forward to display interest (body language is better than words.)
  7. Craft your conversations - it is crucial to shape your conversations to suit the individual you are networking with. This means ensuring that the content of your dialogue must be of interest to them, and the conversation needs to be crafted in this way. This will ensure their engagement to what you’re saying, and a mutual conversation can form.
  8. Smile - smiling is something that is underestimated and overlooked in all aspects of life, not just in networking situations. Approachability and warmness are two key things that you need to portray, and smiling allows you to do this. Smiling also conveys a positive attitude, and people will believe that you want to be there, making them more inclined to approach you.
  9. Follow up - networking commences the connections which have the potential to achieve future success, so maintaining contact with these connections is essential. This might be email, telephone or social media. Make sure you get in touch within 48 hours of the initial meeting: this proves interest and availability.

Following these steps should aid your success during National Apprenticeship Week 2020. For more information about Pearson College London’s degree apprenticeships, visit the website.

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