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Apprentice of Our Time: How have things changed? Full Report 2021

  • Article
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We’re now in the second year of our ten-year project: Apprentice of Our Time. Back in 2020, we launched this project expecting to gather insight into the careers of our Apprentices at a steady pace. Initially inspired by Michael Apted’s Seven Up on BBC2, and Robert Winston’s Child of Our Time, we never would have expected the rapid changes in the working world.

These insights are sought to provide guidance to us at Kaplan as their provider, involving interviews with twenty apprentices across a variety of industries, job roles and standards. The pandemic contributed to the quick development of our apprentices, thus giving us the opportunity to gain a greater understanding and insight into the resilience of our apprentices.

Our methods

Apprentice of Our Time involves telephone or video interviews with twenty apprentices who we identified to form the study back in 2020. We continued to interview them throughout their apprenticeship journey, where we would ask them about their development, career progression, five-year plan, and their views on the value and recommendations of apprenticeships.

The video call or telephone interviews last 45 minutes, every six months. Upon completion of the apprenticeship programme, we will interview these candidates every year.

We are grateful to our clients who support us with this project, and to the Apprentices of Our Time who have agreed to participate.

Where are they now?

The initial group that we spoke to back in 2020 have each developed their careers in different ways. Let’s have a look at the summary of our Apprentices’ progression…

  • Eleven from the 2020 interviews are still on their current apprenticeship programme, working for a range of employers of different sizes from industry, practice, financial services and charity.
  • Five have completed their current apprenticeship and are still working in the accounting and financial services sectors.
  • One has completed their apprenticeship at an insurance business and is now taking a gap year. They will be returning to the next level of apprenticeship to continue with their career development.
  • Three have left their apprenticeship and the sector. Of these three, two completed their apprenticeship and one left the sector without completing the apprenticeship. Of these three, one agreed to continue to be interviewed.

As we held the 2021 interviews, restrictions were starting to lift. This meant something different for each of our Apprentices while we were also able to allow them to reflect on their year and how the unprecedented previous year had impacted their careers.

What we’ve learnt from our Apprentices

Our report summarises the findings from interviews conducted throughout 2021, showing the significant progress made against recommendations from our first report in 2020.

Read the 2021 report - Apprentices of Our Time

If you’re interested in apprenticeships you can find out more on our pages for learners and employers.

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