Apprenticeships_300pxThe seventh annual National Apprenticeship Week is underway to promote the benefits that the vocational training offers to individuals and business.

Running from Monday March 3 to Friday March 7, the week is coordinated by the National Apprenticeship service and supported by many sectors including the automotive industry which stands to benefit more than most from their skills.

To mark the start of the week, the Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise Matthew Hancock gave a keynote address at the SEMTA seminar, where he reiterated government’s aim to make apprenticeships the natural alternative to university for school leavers.

The SEMTA seminar heard from key stakeholders and automotive businesses large and small on government’s drive to forge a new apprenticeship landscape led by industry trailblazers.

The move to have the value of apprenticeships better recognised at all levels, from parents and schools’ careers advisers to business leaders, was welcomed by all.

Small and medium-sized business owners expressed concern over their ability to cater for apprenticeships in this new landscape, however, and also identified difficulties in negotiating the funding and support network around the vocational training.

This awareness campaign is being backed by the IMI whose research indicated the value that apprentices bring to the workplace and could see a 300 percent return on investment.

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