The Journal looks back at National Apprenticeship Week
National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (#NAW2018) might be over but the CII is still on a high following a productive and inspiring seven days. The week is designed to celebrate the positive impact that apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy. While perceptions, myths and attitudes towards apprenticeships are changing, there is still more to be done. Attracting new and diverse talent into the market underpins the activities that the CII is doing in the educational sphere, whether it be in schools, colleges or universities.
To mark the week-long celebration, the CII ran a range of different events.
On Monday, more than 100 people filled the Great Hall for this apprenticeship event, which was organised to provide students with the opportunity to hear and speak to current apprentices and to raise awareness of our profession.
Following a warm welcome by the Sian Fisher, CEO of the CII, George Tsounias -- relationship and events executive, education, CII -- introduced the session.
The Brokerage talked about the work it continues to do to raise aspirations with its local school networks and how it provides opportunities to young people from diverse backgrounds.
Elena Stevenson, a current apprentice at Markel International, talked about her experience and how, despite the pressure to go to university, an apprenticeship was right for her. Next up was the inspiring ASSET. An insurance apprentice network run by apprentices from across the country, its aim is to bring together apprentices, share best practice and show that being an apprentice can be an interesting, rewarding and exciting career path.
During the event, apprentices and employers moved from table to table, to talk to students. This was an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the profession and learn about the variety of careers available. After the speed networking session, a buffet-style lunch followed with all parties taking part in informal networking.
"I found some very interesting candidates suitable for apprenticeships and they have already been in contact to find out more"
"I hope many other students may benefit from this in the future"
On Wednesday evening, the CII hosted a Facebook Livestream for 16 to 18-year-olds, parents, carers and teachers, where the hot topic was: 'Apprenticeships or Uni?' The livestream was hosted by Capital FM's Roman Kemp, who helped generate debate among our panel which included a representative from the National Careers Service, a former apprentice and a HR talent adviser. The livestream has already reached almost 30,000 views and can be found on our Facebook.
Prior to National Apprenticeship Week, the CII conducted research which highlighted that 96% of 16 to 18-year-olds feel that their parents were in some way influential when it came to educational and career choices. We also found that parents and carers place the biggest reliance on schools to get their information from (57%), which is why it is so important that parents and carers are fully informed.
If we are to change perception, we cannot just focus on the young but must also look to their influencers. All this work would not have been possible without the continued support of our members and supporters. Whether you helped at a fair, assisted at a discover event or helped in any way during the week to help raise aspirations, increase awareness of the risk and financial planning professions, thank you! Without your help, our reach and impact would not be as great. And remember, choices are good but informed choices are even better!
George Tsounias is relationship and events executive, education at the CII