The Sheffield College is backing a national celebration recognising the achievements of apprentices.
National Apprenticeship Week, from February 8th to 14th, will showcase the positive impact of apprenticeships on communities, local businesses and regional economies.
The theme for this year is ‘build the future’. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, National Apprenticeship Week will also recognise how apprentices have helped employers adapt and build during a difficult year.
Andrew Hartley, Executive Director of Commercial and Operations, The Sheffield College, said: “Further education colleges are at the forefront of the skills led recovery from the pandemic and apprenticeships will play a vital role in that.”
He added: “Apprenticeships are a great way for learners to develop the skills to go further in their careers. Employers benefit from having a talent pipeline that they can mould to the needs of the business.”
The Sheffield College is the largest provider of apprenticeships in the city and region, and works with around 900 employers training more than 2,700 apprentices across 130 apprenticeship programmes.
The College’s Apprenticeship+ service supports employers to get the skills they need and enables students to become highly employable.
Apprenticeships provide young people and adults with the opportunity to learn on-the-job skills, gain a qualification, break into a career and gain employment afterwards.
During National Apprenticeship Week, the College’s apprentice recruitment team is running an online question and answer session for those who are interested in starting an apprenticeship.
The team will reply to questions posted on the Q&A wall on the College’s Apprenticeship+ microsite throughout the day on February 9th, 10th and 11th.
The team will explain how to secure an apprenticeship and discuss the recruitment process and provide information about the apprenticeships currently available and the progression opportunities afterwards.
An online information session, aimed at employers, on leadership and management apprenticeships will also be held on February 11th from 9.30am until 10.00am.
One learner who has continued developing their skills during the pandemic is award-winning Sheffield College apprentice Estelle Smith, who joined the internal sales department at leading manufacturer Gripple after leaving school at 16.
The 21-year-old is completing a four-year business administration apprenticeship programme and is responsible for administering agricultural orders across Europe.
Estelle recently won the regional Business Apprentice of the Year: Final Year category in the Make UK Manufacturing Awards 2020 for making a significant contribution to Gripple’s business activities.
Estelle said: “I feel really proud. It is brilliant that my employer has recognised my hard work. Through the apprenticeship programme, I have gained confidence and knowledge which has developed me as an individual and enabled me to make an increasing contribution to my team.”
She added: “Gripple is a company which encourages its staff to grow and develop. I have been earmarked for the next cohort of staff who will undertake the future leaders programme. This will expose me to all aspects of what is required to run a business.”
From her start at Gripple in 2016, Estelle has been an internal sales administrator for Gripple Europe and given a full-time contract. She gained NVQs at Level 2 and Level 3 and is now completing an NVQ Level 4 with ambitions to progress within the firm.
Kirsty Royston, Internal Sales Manager, Gripple, added: “Estelle always works very hard and has strengthened customer relationships to the highest level, both directly on the telephone and via email, ensuring that all concerned fully understand the processes involved.”
Gripple is a world leading employee-owned manufacturer of suspension systems for construction and wire tensioning systems for agriculture, employing 800 people across 15 global locations with four manufacturing sites in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
The company went on to win two national Make UK Manufacturing Awards – the Business Growth and Strategy and Developing Future Talent categories and the coveted Manufacturer of the Year.
Today’s apprenticeships are available in a wide range of industries and profession including animal care, business and professional, construction, creative media, education, engineering, floristry and horticulture, hairdressing and barbering, health and social care, hospitality and catering, information and digital technology, leadership and management, legal, science and dental, and sport and leisure.