Raising the Profile of Apprenticeships

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Is an apprenticeship a viable alternative to going to university? 

According to research by ABM U.K., which surveyed 2,000 British parents of children aged 11 to 16 and 2,000 young people aged 11 to 16, parents of young people in the U.K. are contributing to the skills gap in key industries.

What hinders the perception of apprenticeships?

Over 36 per cent of parents do not know ‘what an apprenticeship is’ which is clearly a problem with perceptions and attitudes to alternative career choices which is creating skills gaps in key industries. With a lack of knowledge among parents, it is unsurprising that almost three-quarters of young people do not know either.

When asked who or what influenced these decisions, parents were number one reason for their decisions, followed by teachers and school, the lessons children enjoy and then what their friends said or were going on to do in the future.

Engineering for young people …

How can we raise the profile of apprenticeships amongst students, parents and schools?

Just weeks after the U.K. government officially announced its landmark campaign, the Year of Engineering, ABM U.K. launched their Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (J.E.E.P.) to address the skills shortage on the UK’s engineering industry and its productivity and growth.

In a recent podcast conversation, I interviewed Justine Salmon, a divisional director at ABM U.K., who following a successful pilot year with three West London schools, has now welcomed over 200 school children across the U.K. into the second year of J.E.E.P. The course offers four full-day sessions, where students are introduced to the world of facilities management and engineering through experiments in conduction, heat, magnets and more. The students are introduced to what a career may look like beyond the traditional routes of employment.

Resource Pack

You can download ABM’s teacher pack on the Times Education Supplement. These resources are designed to be delivered in school over four full days, providing teachers and pupils with access to facilities management and problem-solving scenarios. In the pack, you will find topics from electricity to magnets, sustainability and health and safety laws.

Save yourself some time and download your teacher pack. For each topic there are student work booklets, teacher presentations and transcripts to support the lesson, as well as experiment instructions and equipment lists. We all need to shape the perceptions of apprenticeships for our young people, so let’s start today.

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In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

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