During last February's National Apprenticeship Week, we had the pleasure of speaking to the Apprenticeships and Skills Minister about building for the future through apprenticeships.
During our recent Kaplan Introduces event the Minister, Gillian Keegan, spoke directly to our Apprenticeship Advisory Panel (which is made up of existing Kaplan Apprentices). During the event, they described their experiences of the programmes, and how apprenticeships have positively impacted their lives and careers.
Given that Gillian is the first Apprenticeship and Skills Minister to be a former apprentice herself, she was able to speak persuasively from experience. She offered words of encouragement to our panel and those attending the webinar.
It takes courage to take the path less travelled and not take a more obvious university route.
- Gillian Keegan, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister.
Gillian was also able to debunk the myth that apprenticeships have fewer financial benefits than other learning pathways: “We know apprenticeships work, and that apprentices go on to out-earn in many cases anybody who went down the graduate route”.
In a wide-ranging conversation about the future of apprenticeships, it was acknowledged that they are currently one of the country’s “best-kept secrets”. But it seems that the government is committed to increasing support and awareness for standards across all sectors, as part of the Coronavirus recovery plan entitled “Build back better”.
Speaking about the range of practical experience offered by apprenticeships over traditional classroom-based learning, the Minister was very aware of the unique challenges presented to apprentices. She commended them on their perseverance during a challenging year: “Thanks to all of you for contributing to your businesses over the past year, which wouldn’t have happened in a traditional classroom environment”.
Gillian also expressed positivity at the effort we were making to engage directly with learners to impact future programme structure and content: “Today’s Advisory Panel is a fantastic example of success, and it is encouraging to hear Kaplan using a panel of apprentices to get feedback”.
To round off, the Minister reinforced her encouragement for those considering taking the plunge: “If you’re thinking of an apprenticeship, don’t hesitate. It really is life-changing and you’ll never regret it, so go for it”.
Watch the full webinar of our interview with Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills.
If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice, or are a business and would like to enquire about our programmes, please contact us for more information.