National Apprenticeship Week: Another way into work

The Government aims to achieve 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020 and the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) is part of the range of initiatives that are engaging employers and industry to meet this target.

Since being established 11 years ago, National Apprenticeship Week has encouraged more people to choose apprenticeships as a fast-track to a great career and as a way to fuel business growth.

The maritime sector is no different, with events taking place throughout this year’s National Apprenticeship Week (5th-9th March). 

On Thursday, MNTB will be taking part in an event run by Inspiring Apprenticeships, which coincides with International Women’s Day. 

The event, which takes place at Eastbrook School in East London, is part of the Inspiring the Future programme, which aims to raise aspirations of students attending state schools across the country. Since launching, over 40,000 people have pledged an hour a year to help inspire the next generation. The hope is that this event will encourage many more to follow their lead.  

Inspiring the Future has been working with the National Apprenticeship Service since 2013 to help pupils better understand apprenticeships. 

The campaign has been the delivery partner for the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools project, on behalf of the National Apprenticeship Service, across the Southern and London regions for the past three years.

The Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools project has been commissioned by the National Apprenticeship Service, part of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), to support the Government’s target of achieving 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020. As a result, the project is partnering with a range of employers to ensure a diverse range of young people are introduced to the variety of apprenticeships on offer. 

Employers can get involved in a number of ways and these include:

  • Joining school visits to speak to students about the sector, apprenticeship schemes or the application process.
  • Joining teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD) events to speak to groups of schools about the sector, apprenticeship schemes or the application process.
  • Sharing details of when they are recruiting and sharing this with schools/ colleges.
  • Working to host a specifically themed event at their offices.

Some 6,379 volunteers from Inspiring the Future have indicated they are able to speak about apprenticeships. These include current and former apprentices, those who manage apprentices or work with apprentices in their organisation or who work in apprenticeship policy. Schools can invite in these volunteers to help inspire students to consider this route into the world of work. 

Thursday’s event will bring over 40 amazing volunteers from the world of apprenticeships in contact with 200 young people and the MNTB is very proud to be taking part. 

Elsewhere, maritime organisations are lending their support to National Apprenticeship Week. Scottish ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne, for one, has hosted a graduation lunch for its deck and engine modern apprentices. 

This week, the company launched its new CalMac Modern Apprenticeship brochure and webpage, as well as their new recruitment for deck, engine and retail apprentices, in addition to attending their local Modern Apprenticeship fair in Inverclyde. 

Over on social media, CalMac’s current apprentices will be taking over the company’s Instagram and Twitter feeds to raise awareness of maritime apprenticeships throughout the week. 

At the Albert Dock in Liverpool, Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust is promoting its Apprenticeship Cup sailing competition, which is designed to instil team-working qualities in apprentices through sailing. 

In London, the Thames Skills Academy is looking to attract potential apprentices for career paths across the maritime sector via its event, ‘Navigating a career on the River Thames’. 

On a wider note, the Institute for Apprenticeships is encouraging employers to take part and spread the word in a number of ways, for instance to visit local schools and colleges. 

The Institute is also asking for employers to share their own apprenticeship success stories with the nation by using the hashtag #WorksForMe @IFAteched or through the National Apprenticeship Week’s 10,000 talks movement, using the hashtag #10KTalks 

While the Apprenticeship Levy remains a relatively new initiative, the MNTB is offering free advice to maritime employers on how best to implement it. Please do get in touch if you’d like more information. 

The MNTB provides the secretariat for the Maritime Trailblazer group, which aims to enable a wider range of training for ratings and is developing electrical and mechanical standards for engine room ratings, plus other standards for those working in onboard services and for training apprentices in maritime catering.


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For more information contact:

Mark Burgess

Training Development Manager

020 7417 2823 / 07391 865499