In her monthly South Wales Argus column, Acorn's Sarah John looks at how employers can use apprenticeships to rise to the top.
What have Jamie Oliver, Stella McCartney, Michael Caine and John Frieda got in common? They all started their working life via a vocational route in the form of an apprenticeship before hitting the big time.
Michael Caine was an Apprentice Plumber, celebrity chef-extraordinaire, Jamie began working life as a Catering Apprentice, Stella trained all over the city of London with the likes of Christian Lacroix and John started his rise to the top as a Salon Apprentice.
All four followed the route of vocational training in a bid to secure on-the-job qualifications. Today, this system of training is becoming increasingly popular, so much so, that many individuals are actually choosing to complete an apprenticeship over pursuing university grade qualifications.
It's no secret; apprenticeships improve the bottom line for companies, delivering real returns, helping employers to improve both productivity and competitiveness*. In turn, vocational training produce well-trained employees that many companies are in dire need of.
At Acorn, we work closely with our valued client base to understand their current and future needs and always aim to provide bespoke results-driven solutions - such as the Banking Higher Apprenticeship in partnership with Principality Building Society, which provided a team of Managers with the opportunity to learn and really understand the implications of retail banking.
Next month marks National Apprenticeship Week - a week designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on learners, businesses and the wider economy. This year's celebration will take place from the 14th till the 18th of March and will celebrate that apprenticeships are all about rising to the top.
Many leading UK companies will celebrate the success of their apprentices in a variety of ways, including through the use of awards, lunches and "come and try" sessions. We know that a number of our partners are getting involved; Coleg Y Cymoedd will be hosting a breakfast event during the celebratory week to showcase the training opportunities they deliver and Principality Building Society is highlighting the value of our joint Higher Apprenticeship Programme via tailored advertising.
At Acorn, we will be recognising both apprentices and employers by attending various industry events, complimented with case studies, testimonials, social media activity and infographics detailing the value of our apprenticeships. If nothing else, during the UK's celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, why not consider whether an apprenticeship programme could fit into your business for existing and new employees.
According to a recent National Apprenticeship Service survey, 77% of employers believe apprenticeships make their organisation a more competitive business*. From a corporate perspective, apprenticeships make fiscal sense - if a business wants to succeed, they should consider whether or not to invest in vocational qualifications which would help them rise to the top.