National Apprenticeship Week 2021
All this week we have been celebrating and raising the profile on apprenticeships as a valuable and effective way to not only provide accessible opportunities in the workplace but also to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
As National Apprenticeship Week comes to end, we thought it fitting to speak to our own Apprentices about their own experience at Harris. Resident apprentice Dion and apprentice grad, Hannah, walk us through their experiences and why apprenticeships are a key player in diversifying job and CPD opportunities in the job market.
Gateways to industry and opportunity
Apprenticeships in IT and Tech expose young people to the industry environment to put the training to practice. Coming up to the end point assessment period of his apprenticeship pathway, it is a busy and exciting time for Dion as he prepares to deliver his last assessments before grading and certification.
DM: “It has certainly been an interesting experience to recount since the switch to remote working amidst the pandemic’s initial effect on our academies. But thanks to the remote nature of my own course, it’s been a fairly easy process to manage alongside my work responsibilities. I’ve now submitted final coursework pieces and hoping to get on with my EPA in the next couple of months.
I actually found out about Harris through my previous role and company’s involvement in the Harris Ockendon transition. I met Lance, a member of the IT Team at Harris, there and the IT apprenticeship opportunity at Harris sounded like something I would be interested in. I applied and was accepted and now, almost 10 months on, I am working across the central and academy teams to deliver first-hand IT support.”
Building a portfolio of work you can be proud of
The nature of CPD is always evolving and whether you are looking to provide new and fresh ways to develop your own talent or to open up your team to new entry-level talent, apprenticeships are a unique way to build a skilled workforce. Talking to Hannah who has just finished her apprenticeship in content production, we hear about how she found her 15-month training programme.
HA: “There are so many things that can come to mind when you decide you want to develop your skills or pick up some new ones. Finding out what type of learner you are is important to this process. I found that the apprenticeship model was a great way to learn and train myself on my own terms. With accredited trainers and a team of apprentices in your cohort, learning with you, it also serves as a fantastic collective journey.
One of the most fulfilling aspects of this experience is being able to have a portfolio of work to look back on and actually pinpoint your skill building and how you’ve managed to put into practice at work.”
Developing your workforce with industry-standard skill learners
Harry Bond, Head of Talent and Attraction at Harris speaks to the experience of hiring apprentices and its importance to Harris:
HB: “Recruiting an apprentice in the team has brought fresh perspective, knowledge and new approaches, and through the training and support offered by the training provider, helped to plug a skills gap. Apprenticeships can be a very rewarding and enriching route for both learner and employer, and one I will certainly utilise again in future
As an education provider, Harris has supported many students in pursuing vocational and apprenticeship career paths, but we have also used our employer levy to recruit entry level talent into our own workplace. Learning and CPD is part of everyday life at Harris and hiring an apprentice has been a great way to nurture and develop the specific skills and experience needed for the team, and which are relevant to us as an employer in Education.”
Building the Future
From opportunities to upskill existing employees to flexible training options, there are so many reasons to celebrate and embrace apprenticeships. If you’d like to learn more about how you can get involved as an employer, click here. If you are interested in becoming an apprentice, you can find everything you need to know here.
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