The theme of the week is: ‘ladder of opportunity’ and the week itself will bring together apprenticeship employers, as well as current and former apprentices. There will be a significant focus on the latter; many of whom have progressed significantly in their chosen industry since commencing their apprenticeship. This includes former apprentices who are now pursuing careers as leaders in their fields, spanning a wide range of sectors and businesses, encompassing engineering, manufacturing and marketing.

"Apprenticeships offer the best of both worlds; offering the chance to learn on the job whilst gaining the practical skills needed to get ahead, whilst also earning a salary."

The lifetime benefits associated with the acquisition of an apprenticeship at Level 2 and 3 are significant, standing at between £48,000 and £74,000 for Level 2 and between £77,000 and £117,000 for Level 3 apprenticeships. This can open up a whole host of opportunities.

10 years on from the first National Apprenticeship Week and apprenticeships are growing more and more appealing to young people and their parents. This is reflected in the increased diversity of apprenticeships on offer. For example 10 years ago we didn’t have degree apprenticeships or Trailblazers. But now apprenticeship Trailblazers, groups of employers developing standards specific to their sector, mean we have more and more employer-led apprenticeships which include new and diverse roles in sectors from aerospace engineering, through to software development and dental practice.

"89% of apprentices are satisfied with their apprenticeship and 92% said their career prospects had improved."

With the theme of National Apprenticeship Week 2017 as ‘ladder of opportunity’ a crucial development in the successful growth of apprenticeships, over the last few years, is the opportunity for degree level study with an increasing number of individuals now opting to take a higher level apprenticeship rather than going to university.

To this end we are committed to rolling out more degree level apprenticeships, so more young people can combine a high quality degree with an apprenticeship. Higher and degree apprenticeships are widening access to the professions and providing higher level technical skills employers need to improve productivity, as well as giving young people an equally valid career route to going to university.


Benefit from employer-led apprenticeships like engineering


Ten years ago this option wasn’t available, but in 2015-16, 26,750 people started an apprenticeship at Level 4 or above and apprenticeships will soon be available all the way up to Level 8. Higher apprentices could earn £150,000 more on average over their lifetime compared to those with Level 3 vocational qualifications.

"Apprenticeships are not just a great way to progress in work and life they are a great way for employers to improve the skills base of their businesses."

Apprenticeships work for all people of all ages and all background and can transform lives. Statistics show 89% of apprentices are satisfied with their apprenticeship and 92% said their career prospects had improved through doing their apprenticeship. To this end, we are committed to ensuring apprenticeships are as accessible as possible for all people from all backgrounds.