National Apprenticeship Week is on the horizon, taking place from the 8th-14th February this year. And while it may look a little different from last year when 900 events took place across England, it’s still a great opportunity to showcase how apprenticeships have helped employers and learners of all ages and backgrounds. And it’s now the perfect place for employers and apprentices to connect online.
The theme this year is “Build the Future”. As far as we can see, where apprenticeships are concerned, the future is certainly bright.
What’s in store for apprenticeships in 2021?
During 2020, the training industry as a whole faced a huge challenge when it came to continuing delivery through the emerging pandemic. Trainers, employers and students themselves were forced to be adaptable and resilient as they found new ways to work, to meet and to continue to accomplish their qualifications. But they did it; they pulled through. At one point we even questioned in a webinar whether this forced change to online ways of working was in fact a force for good? <link to blog 20-09: Has the forced change been a force for good?>
But it seems that the news is not all positive. Many independent training providers in various sectors have begun to see their numbers dwindling.
This could be due to the high numbers of Covid-impacted industries, such as leisure and hospitality, where people are taking a break while they’re not able to work their day job. Or it could be the opposite, the pressures of over-work, with apprentices in health care and education avoiding apprenticeships while they put their energies into their vital working roles.
Speaking to our training network though, we’ve found the mood is generally upbeat. Ruth Johnson, Bud’s Business Development Manager explains:
”They are expecting the numbers to bounce back quickly. Health and social care apprenticeships as well as degree level courses are expected to continue to rise sharply with some training providers looking to triple their learner numbers.
“Health Education England is also currently developing standards for the NHS to make sure that the apprenticeship levy is maximised and to make better use of apprenticeships. The NHS is expected to account for a third of the overall public sector apprenticeship target over the next five years, with the registration of 50,000 nurses.”
In fact, in the coming months, companies of all sizes are expected to make better use of apprenticeships, expanding their workforce and choosing them as an option to backfill skills gaps that occur as a natural result of progression.
We built Bud with the future in mind
As we move through 2021, the biggest challenge facing apprenticeship providers is ongoing uncertainty. When and how will lockdowns ease? Will we see further restrictions? Even once the vaccines are rolled out, will younger people still need to isolate for periods of time? And what about trainers? How will they be impacted?
Bud is built to allow the flexibility that is needed when working in these circumstances. Training can be online, offline or blended, as and when required. So if learners are forced to isolate they won’t miss out, and if alternative trainers need to pick up a new group, they’ll have all the knowledge and data they need to hit the ground running with the correct content.
The inbuilt workflows and data flags in Bud mean that even if your delivery models are inconsistent and learners are struggling to fulfill on-the-job requirements, everything will be clear, documented and evidenced. This means your compliance figures won’t be impacted and you can claim all the funding to which you’re entitled.
Particularly in these uncertain times, Bud is the joined up cloud-based system that training providers need to make everything easier and more flexible.
You can follow the hashtags #NAW2021 and #BuildTheFuture across the week on social media for more information. Or visit National Apprenticeship Week 2021 — Your Apprenticeship Starts Here to find out what’s planned.