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UK Government Launches ‘Fire It Up’ Apprenticeship Campaign

19 Jan 2019

UK Government Launches ‘Fire It Up’ Apprenticeship Campaign

This week, the UK Government’s Department for Education (DfE) launched a brand new campaign to get more young people, employers, parents and education institutions on board with apprenticeships.

Dubbed ‘Fire It Up’, the starting gun was fired on 17th January, with the campaign designed to showcase apprenticeship as a real and valuable alternative to university for school leavers.

The DfE hope the campaign will be a rallying cry for employers to offer more apprenticeships and for young people to ‘Blaze Their Own Career Trail’ by enrolling as an apprentice.

The Department for Education also revealed that, in tandem with the launch of the campaign, Anne Milton, the Apprenticeships & Skills Minister, would be writing to local authorities to remind schools that they have an obligation ‘to provide information on their website about how they will ensure providers of vocational education are able talk to pupils in their schools.’

Describing the ethos behind ‘Fire It Up’ the DfE’s literature says:

“The aim of this campaign is to make people aware of the changes to apprenticeships and the benefits to individuals and businesses. We need to overhaul the perception of apprenticeships, to position them as world class.”

“Apprentices follow their passions. Apprenticeships are for those who have the spirit to blaze their own trail. This strategy is what led to the creative idea: Fire It Up.”

“We want to inspire and excite both potential apprentices and employers by showing that apprentices have a natural energy and enthusiasm that rubs off on everyone around them.”

“This energy is being creatively visualised with electricity. The electrical spark links all assets of the campaign together, giving it a distinctive look and feel.”

Commenting at the launch of the ‘Fire It Up’ campaign on Thursday, the Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, said: “We are seeing the apprenticeship system in this country come of age, with leading employers waking up to the benefits apprenticeships can bring. The sad truth is that outdated and snobby attitudes are still putting people off apprenticeships which means they’re missing out on great jobs and higher salaries; many of them in the sorts of firms graduates look to land jobs with after university.”

“It’s vital that we challenge people’s thinking about apprenticeships which is why the Government’s new ‘Fire It Up’ campaign will aim to shift deeply held views and drive more people towards an apprenticeship. At the same time we need to make sure that young people have access to information about all of the opportunities that are out there so we are taking action to make sure all schools invite a wide range of providers in to help young people choose the right career path for them,” added Mr Hinds.

The Education Secretary hailed leading employers like Lloyds Banking Group and Marks & Spencer as great examples of companies which had appreciated the benefits which apprentices bring to the table.

Mr Hinds said that businesses such as theirs had hired ‘thousands’ of young people into the Government’s latest high quality apprenticeship schemes, known as ‘Standards’.

The range of apprenticeships now on offer is wide and varied, and, with many types of apprenticeship it also now possible to study right up to degree level

As well as old favourites such as Banking Apprenticeships and Retail Apprenticeships from recruiters such as the aforementioned Lloyds & M&S, young people can now choose to earn a wage whilst learning hands-on workplace skills in more niche career paths such as Baking Apprenticeships, Equine Apprenticeships, Jewellery Apprenticeships and Floristry Apprenticeships.

Government figures also show that the number of hours of training which apprentices can expect to receive is increasing rapidly. Last year, the typical apprentice would receive around 560 training hours on average. This year that figure is expected to rise to 700 hours, an increase of 25 per cent in the last twelve months alone.

The potential long term career results are also very encouraging, with 9 in 10 young people who complete an apprenticeship now going on to secure a job or entering into further training.

The message seems to be getting through to young people already. Almost 65 per cent of school leavers now consider an apprenticeship to be a viable alternative to going to university, up from 55 per cent just five years ago.

The financial rewards can be an incentive too, with male apprentices typically earning 23 per cent more than school leavers who only have GCSEs - and female apprentices expecting to bring home 15 per cent more than their GCSE-only counterparts.

Offering some insider knowledge of what it is like to be an apprentice in the modern era, Alim Montell Jalloh who is enrolled on an apprenticeship at Channel 4 and who endorses the new campaign, said:

“Young people like me are thinking about their options. University is a good idea, but it is not for everyone. Ultimately it wasn’t for me because I didn’t feel it was preparing me for the job I really wanted.”

“My apprenticeship was an amazing combination of world-class on-the-job learning, hyper relevant qualifications with a clear potential career ahead of me. All while earning a salary!” enthused Mr Jalloh.

As part of the ‘Fire It Up’ campaign, the DfE has set up a number of avenues to help get the message out there - either by word of mouth or via social media.

Whether you are an aspiring apprentice, a prospective apprenticeship provider, a concerned parent, a careers advisor - or an enthusiastic teacher who wants to help your students achieve their full potential - you can get involved with ‘Fire It Up’ in various ways.

Take a look at the downloadable Fire It Up toolkit for some ideas of what you can do to help - and check out all of the latest news and action on the campaign’s Twitter account.

Now is the time to get fired up!

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