Last week saw the annual celebration of National Apprenticeship Week. The theme for 2023 was ‘Skills for Life’ and the week reflected on how apprenticeships could help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career and help businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with skills for the future.

The week brought together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

To be interactive and engaged with our members, FIS published daily polls, following the themes of the day to understand members awareness of apprenticeships. Our poll results were inspiring and positive, demonstrating that FIS is working hard for its members to ensure they have the most up to date information and support on apprenticeships.

The results indicated we are getting the message out about apprenticeships, however, we could do more to influence our members in relation to those who may be hesitant to take apprentices on. 80% of businesses that took part in our poll have recruited an apprentice in the past and 57% are considering hiring an apprentice.

The FIS skills team will be proactive and follow up with those who were not quite sure about taking on apprentices (43%) to discuss benefits they bring, and any funding attached.

FIS has links with many education institutions, where member views are represented to make a change in the sector. It is good news that the Interior Systems Installer apprenticeship is preparing to be reviewed, with input from our members taken on board to ensure it is fit for purpose and adds value.

An area where a little more work is required is the awareness around T- Levels, with 55% of respondents not aware what a T-Level is. T-Levels are relatively new to the sector and FIS is on hand to offer advice and guidance to its members on how these qualifications can be integrated into their organisation to fill the skills gaps.

National Apprenticeship Week is an important tool in raising the profile of apprenticeships with schools, parents and young people who may not have considered apprenticeships as a viable career route. The week also highlights the value apprentices bring to employers. Our members who have recruited apprentices, have found great value and pride in making a difference to participants.

FIS is a great believer in celebrating success and showcasing the great benefits that apprentices bring to individuals and employers is no different.  We have celebrated apprentices at our recent awards, where apprentices have won and shone a light on how undertaking an apprenticeship has enabled them to fulfil their ambitions and how they have been successful in their achievements.

Skills Hub

The Skills Hub provides information on sector careers, apprenticeships and funding, as well as access to e-learning, CPD and other training. It also brings together details of courses specific to the finishes and interiors sector, making accessing and booking training quick and easy.