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National Apprenticeship Week

Date: Tuesday 9 February 2021
Author: Cllr Richard Baker
Title: Spokesperson for Economics and Business

This week is National Apprenticeship Week and is a good time to reflect on the opportunities for our young residents to access the apprenticeships available to them through the Borough’s various schemes. The current unemployment rate amongst Richmond residents aged between 18 and 24 has risen by 229% since March 2020 and underlines the critical need for that support.

National Apprenticeship Week is an annual nationwide week-long celebration of apprenticeships which show case how apprenticeships have helped apprentices, employers and people of all ages and backgrounds. The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is proud to play a part in bringing these opportunities to our residents.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16, and they range from entry level apprenticeship roles through to 'retraining' apprenticeships possibly undertaken much later in life, accordingly an apprenticeship is an option for all ages. Apprenticeships start from GCSE level and can continue right through to Masters Degree Level, so throughout your working life you can access an apprenticeship that’s appropriate to you.

The council, working with Achieving for Children, provides apprenticeship opportunities to residents through Way 2 Work, an apprenticeship training provider who specialise in Childcare Apprenticeships, Teaching Assistant Apprenticeships, Nursery Apprenticeships, Business Admin Apprenticeships & Customer Service Apprenticeships with local employers.

Richmond council recently launched Richmond Work Match which supports residents with job and training opportunities. Work Match have access to apprenticeship opportunities across South West London, particularly in the Construction sector, where access to funding from the Department of Education is available to assist residents who wish to work within the construction industry. Through the Construction Gateway Programme training opportunities and qualifications are available to help residents access apprenticeship and job opportunities in the construction sector, many on local sites.

Richmond Council also supports local businesses to offer apprenticeship opportunities to residents. Work Match provides Richmond upon Thames businesses a free, bespoke recruitment service, working with businesses of all sizes, sectors and specialisms and have supported hundreds of local companies to find their next high-quality member of staff. 

Way2Work can support local businesses to recruit local people for apprenticeships and support employers through the entire process from writing job descriptions to support once the apprentice has completed their qualification.

Below are two testimonials from a young apprentice and a local business:

"I left college as it wasn’t for me, I just wanted to work and do an apprenticeship. I explained that I had no GCSE’s but it was explained that when I start an apprenticeship I would have the opportunity to study English, Maths and ICT. I was over the moon due to not having the qualifications.

"I managed to get an interview with Adult Community Services Finance team. I got the job and started my Level 2 apprenticeship. My assessor throughout doing my level 2 apprenticeships helped me so much with my NVQ work and English, Maths and ICT. The support I have had has been outstanding. I have managed to Pass English, Maths and ICT and Level 2 Business Admin."

National Apprenticeship Week runs from Monday 8 February to Sunday 14 February.

For more information visit Richmond Work Match and discover apprenticeship opportunities with Way 2 Work.

Updated: 19 October 2021