Importance of Careers Education and National Apprenticeships Week

Written by Maria Tonchievici,  Project Manager – Mentoring Works at BIG Alliance

The 15th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships has taken place between 7th – 13th February 2022. The week brought together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses, and the wider economy.

The theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week 2022 was ‘build the future’; reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.

On this subject, we asked one of our long-standing school coordinators at Beacon High School to share her thoughts about the importance of National Apprenticeships Week and the development of employability skills among young people, so they are “ready for work”:

How important is careers education at Beacon High School and why?
Careers education is very important at Beacon High as it gives our young people all the information they need to make post-16 choices.

Why is National Apprenticeships Week important for young people?
National Apprenticeship Week supports young people by giving them the information and making them aware of the different types of sector apprenticeships. For example, some students at Beacon High had the opportunity to visit a construction site and hear more about their apprenticeships offer.

In line with the theme for this year’s National Apprenticeships Week, how important is the development of employability skills for young people and their readiness for work?
The development of employability skills is very important for young people in enabling them to make and have more informed choices for the future.

Over the past 9 years, students in Year 10 at Beacon High have also been involved in the Mentoring Works programme which aims to introduce young people to the world of work, raise their aspirations, enable them to identify career goals and increase their employability through development of key skills like teamwork, leadership, public speaking, problem solving and many more. The support young people received during the programme has helped them broaden their horizon on careers and consider more potential options after they leave school, such as apprenticeships.

Being involved in the Mentoring Works programme for many years now, why do you think it is important for young people to be engaged in this programme moving forward?
At Beacon High school we are proud to have been involved in Mentoring Works for over 9 years. So many of our students have benefited from the programme and grown in confidence, whilst raising their aspirations.

What change/impact have you seen in the young people who have been involved in the Mentoring Works Year 10 programme?
The change in our young people that are involved in the programme is amazing. Their confidence grows and they mature as well as raise their aspirations. Students have applied for and attended colleges and workplaces that they may previously have thought were out of their reach.

In conclusion, the following quote really captures the essence of the apprenticeships:

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