Even more people will get an opportunity to earn while they learn, after more than 20,000 new apprenticeships have been pledged by employers as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

From Lloyds Banking Group committing to hiring 5,000 apprentices, Greene King and Whitbread pledging 2,000 a piece and EE, Mitchells and Butlers and Starbucks each announcing 1,000 vacancies, announcements have been made by hundreds of businesses around the country.

And it’s not just big corporates that are showing their commitment to apprenticeships – 47% of the employers creating new apprenticeships are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Smaller organisations announcing plans to take on apprentices include Cambridgeshire retailer Crafting Time, Kent web designers Interactive Red, London charity Knives Not Lives, Grimsby electrical contractors HYBRiD, Oldham construction firm Emanuel Whittaker and Penzance customer services company TR18 Contact.

Other companies that have pledged new apprenticeships include BT, ITV, Network Rail, Be Wiser Insurance, Central Bedfordshire Council, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Ashtead Plant Hire, Southend Citizen Advice Bureau and Virgin Media. Meanwhile, Capita Personal Independence Payment have pledged to make 5% of its non-healthcare workforce apprentices and launched a drive to hire more disabled young people onto apprenticeships.

And National Apprenticeship Week has also seen a boost to the new traineeships, which give young people the work preparation training, English, maths and work experience they need to get an apprenticeship or other job.

Employers including the BBC and Port of Tilbury have pledged to give more young people traineeships – as have Liverpool Football Club through a partnership with Myerscough College. Meanwhile, Westminster Kingsway College has launched a new Parliamentary Traineeship programme so 16 to 23 year olds can get a chance to gain experience in the corridors of power.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

The government is putting an end to the damaging divide between vocational and academic learning. We are committing the biggest ever investment in apprenticeships and are on track to create 2 million apprenticeships over the course of this parliament.

The resounding success of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week demonstrates that apprenticeships are deservedly becoming more popular with business of all sizes. Apprentices already contribute £1.8 billion to the economy and with these further commitments, thousands more people will now be able to get the practical skills they need to build careers and help firms grow.

Today’s (7 March 2014) announcement follows new research revealing that nearly half (44%) of employers intend to take on 1 or more apprentice in the next 5 years. And research from the Association of Accounting Technicians revealed that apprentices delivered around £1.8 billion of net economic benefits to UK organisations in the last year.

The week has also seen the prime minister announce the government’s commitment to creating 2 million apprenticeships over the lifetime of the current parliament. David Cameron also announced the next round of trailblazer employers; 29 new groups of employers who will lead the transformation of apprenticeships. The new trailblazers, spanning sectors from accountancy to aviation, nursing to retail, include small businesses and sector specialists as well as some big names such as Tata Steel, John Lewis, British Airways and BMW.

Other announcements during the week included the launch of new higher, degree level, apprenticeships in space engineering and nursing. And to help bring more SME employers on board, further support has been announced including a new online mentoring service, Apprenticemakers. Meanwhile, the AvLive feed of vacancies which training providers and partners can use to promote apprenticeship vacancies has been upgraded following a successful 6-month testing period.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock MP said:

We want to make going to university or into an apprenticeship the new norm, and over half of young people say they would like to do an apprenticeship if one were available. So it’s great that as National Apprenticeship Week 2014 comes to a close we can announce that 20,432 new positions are to be created.

In order to give young people the best chance possible of securing an Apprenticeship or job and unlock their potential, we need to help them become work-ready. The new traineeships will be crucial to that.

Apprenticeships are delivering for employers, young people, adults and the economy and are increasing at a record rate. Nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice reports benefits to their business, including the ability to grow their own talents.

Now in its seventh year, National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. The overarching theme for 2014 has been Great Apprenticeships, to demonstrate that apprenticeships are great for business and personal careers and create opportunities for both employers and apprentices.

Visit apprenticeships.org.uk or https://bitly.com/Traineeships2014 for more information.

Notes to Editors

1.The ‘20,000 apprenticeships pledged’ figure is sourced from monitoring press coverage during National Apprenticeship Week, through press releases sent to National Apprenticeship Service and registrations on the National Apprenticeship Service Pledgeometer.

2.Employers pledging Apprenticeships:

The Centre for Mineral Products Professional Development

A.P. Broome Landscapes Limited

Accord Group

Adatis Consulting Ltd


Affinity Sutton

Ageing in Great Britain CIC

Aim High Training Solutions Ltd


Anglian Water



Ashtead Plant Hire



aVida Care Ltd

Babcock International

Balfour Beatty

Barlows (UK) Ltd

Barratt Developments PLC

Be Training Academy Ltd

Be Wiser Insurance

Becton Dickinson UK Ltd

Belvior Lettings

Benslow Music Trust

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Blackpool Council

Bolton Council


Bradleys Estate Agents

Brent Council

Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival

British Airways

10Brooklyn House


BT plc

Bury Council

Capita Talent Partnerships

Carlisle City Council

Casgo Connections Ltd


Central Bedfordshire Council

Central Training Academy


Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

Cheeky Munkey

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Chevron Traffic Management

Claremont PR

Clarkson Evans


Compass Group UK and Ireland

Covea Insurance

Crafting Time Ltd

Cumbria County Council

Dale Power Solutions Ltd


Dance East

Dataflow Peripherals

Days Lettings

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Defence Support International

DEG Signal Ltd

Derby Homes

Derry Building Services

DKFS Training Ltd



Emanuel Whittaker



Everton in the Community

Farmfoods Limited

Fisher Management

Frankie and Benny’s


Full Circle Learning

Futures Housing Group

Gestamp Tallent Ltd

Ginger Nut Media

Gist Limited


Greene King


GSM England Retail UK

Hailey Hall School

Hayward Tyler Limited

HBP Systems Ltd

Henley College Coventry

Heritage Foundation

Hertfordshire County Council

Hopwood Hall College

HYBRiD (Grimsby) Ltd


IMPACT Apprenticeships

Interactive Red


J Murphy and Sons Ltd

James Paget University Hospital


KLM UK Engineering Limited


Kruger Associates Ltd

Kustom Clothing

La Bote

Lafarge Tarmac

Laing O’Rourke

Lakefield Foods

Lancashire County Council

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Learning Unlimited

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Leicester City Council


Lloyds Banking Group

Lucy Glyn Support Services Ltd

Mainstay Group Ltd

Mayor of London

McCann Manchester


Merseylink CJV

Milton Keynes Service Partnership LLP

Mitchells and Butlers

Morecare Ltd

MPR Music Production

National Sales Academy


Network Rail

New Charter Housing Trust Group

New Wolsey Theatre

Next Retail Ltd

NG Bailey


Nomura International PLC

Norbert Dentressangle

North Hertfordshire College

North Hertfordshire District Council

North Lincolnshire Homes

Northumberland County Council

Not Going to Uni

Nottingham City Council



Paneltex Limited

Paxman Landscapes Uk Ltd

PHOENIX Medical Supplies Ltd/ Rowlands Pharmacy

Pinnacle Support

Pixel by pixel

Plymouth Apprenticeship Company

Plymouth City Council

Portmill Surgery

Pursuit Training

Quite Great Limited

Redrow Homes


Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa


Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Rotherham NHS

Rugged and Tough Ltd

Sanctuary Personnel

Santander UK

Sarah Hodge Hairdressing Group

Scientifica Ltd

SCWS Limited

Selco Trade Centres


Serco Vocational Services

Severn Trent Water

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHSFT

Silver Trowel Ltd

Skill-serve Training Ltd

Smiths Row

South Glos Council

South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Southampton Solent University

Southend CAB

South West Trains

Stafford College

Starbucks Coffee Company

Stronghold International Ltd


TCA Lifting Ltd


Thames Water Utilities Limited

The apprentice agency

The College of West Anglia

The Flying Music Company Limited


The Juice Academy

The Manufacturing Technology Centre

The Red Lion

The Sanctuary Group

The Social Resource Centre Ltd

The Walton Centre FT NHS

The Way Ahead Training and Consultancy Ltd

Thompson and First Choice

Timico Ltd

TMB Patterns Limited

TNT Post


Trade and Discount Signs

Transport for London



United Utilities

Virgin Media

Walsall Works programme

Walter Smith Fine Foods Ltd

Warren Services

Warwickshire County Council

Way ahead Care

way Homecare

West Notts College

Wheatfield Surgery


William Hill


York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Yorkshire Housing


3.National Apprenticeship Service

The National Apprenticeship Service supports and co-ordinates the delivery of apprenticeships and traineeships throughout England.

It is responsible for increasing the number of apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities and providing a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners. This includes simplifying the process of recruiting an apprentice or trainee through apprenticeship vacancies, an online system where employers can advertise their vacancies and potential apprentices or trainees can apply.

Apprenticeships bring considerable value to organisations, employers, individuals and the economy. Businesses across the country are increasingly realising the enormous benefits that apprenticeships create, not only in terms of developing a highly skilled workforce but also by boosting productivity and staff retention.

Research shows that apprenticeships are an optimal way of training, developing and skilling people for the future, helping businesses to secure a supply of people with the skills and qualities they need and which are often not available on the external job market.

A traineeship is an education and training programme with a work placement that is focused on giving young people the skills and experience that employers are looking for. At its core are work preparation training, English and maths for those who need it, and a high quality work experience placement.

Traineeships are for young people aged 16 to 23 who are motivated to get a job but who lack the skills and experience that employers are looking for. Traineeships prepare young people for their future careers by helping them to become ‘work ready’. They give young people the skills and experience to be able to compete for an apprenticeship or other job.

Traineeships are a stepping stone to future success for young people, businesses and the wider economy.

There has never been a better time to employ an apprentice, or start an apprenticeship.

Visit apprenticeships.org.uk or call 08000 150 600 to find out more.

4.Skills Funding Agency

The Skills Funding Agency is a partner organisation of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Its job is to fund and promote adult further education (FE) and skills training in England, including traineeships and apprenticeships, in a way which supports economic growth. The agency delivers £4.1 billion of skills training through contracts with over 1,000 colleges, private training organisations and employers, with a highly effective supply chain that means FE meets local need in the most cost-effective way.

Within the Skills Funding Agency, there are 2 customer-facing services: the National Apprenticeship Service, which is responsible for increasing the number of traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities, and the National Careers Service, which provides impartial careers information, advice and guidance online, by telephone or face-to-face.

5.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

to create the most competitive tax system in the G20

to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business

to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy

to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Show more