You may have heard the term “Trailblazers” thrown around lately. You also may have noticed the recent surge in adverts about apprenticeships. It’s all due to the government increasing their push on apprenticeships, especially as a more respected and common form of further study, with an end goal of 3 million people beginning apprenticeships in 2020 in England.

The government is, in particular, promoting the industry standards for each role. As explained by, “Groups of employers (trailblazers) are working together to design new world-class apprenticeship standards that respond to the needs of their industries. More than 1200 large and small employers are already involved in a wide variety of industry sectors”.

More information can be found here:

The benefit of using employers to help create standards means that apprenticeships in each industry will be specially moulded to be mutually beneficial to apprentice and employer. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford to go to university, so apprenticeships offer another option.

We at drp are a “trailblazer” company; we are helping to set these new apprenticeship standards. Consequently, we are helping promote and increase the opportunities for those who seek more “hands-on” or specialist routes post-high school, rather than the traditional academic routes. You may recently have seen our blog – by Joel, a drp apprentice – describing how beneficial and enjoyable he is finding an apprenticeship as opposed to higher education.

We’re not saying degrees are not an option or not worth doing. All we’re saying is apprenticeships can be seen as another route, especially for those who are not academics like others.

The panic that sets in when pupils approach the close of their secondary school education in Year 11 is far too common and unnecessary. The improved standards and increased awareness of apprenticeships will remove the “what to do next” anxiety from pressures to continue formal education (with a view to going to university).

Apprenticeships have been perceived in the past as less respected or offering a lesser quality of education than university does. So, the government aims for the improved standards and increased awareness of apprenticeships to prove them as a real, respectable alternative.

Here are just a small handful of apprenticeships available or soon to be available: Animal Trainer, Asbestos Analyst/Surveyor, Fishmonger, Golf Greenkeeper, Associate Project Manager, Butcher, Calligrapher, Event Assistant, Junior Journalist, and Police Officer…and more!

Josh – one of our current apprentices at drp

Quick-fire Facts about Apprenticeships:

  • Last 12 – 15 months minimum
  • Involve 20% off-the-job training.
  • Develop transferable skills, plus English and Maths.
  • Employers can train apprentices themselves or use highly qualified education and training providers.
  • The new employer-designed standards will replace the current frameworks.
  • Must require transferable skills, so that apprentices aren’t just trained for one job
  • End-point assessment is used to test skills, knowledge, and behaviours set out in the standard to check the apprentice is fully competent in that role.
  • Employers can use ATAs (apprenticeship training agencies) to recruit, employ and arrange training for apprentices on their behalf.

So what does the future hold by 2020?

All employers in England* will be able to use an online apprenticeship service to choose training providers, pay for training and assessment for apprenticeships, and post apprenticeship vacancies.

If you are an employer who pays the levy, you can also use the apprenticeship service to:

  • set the price you’ve agreed with your training provider
  • pay for apprenticeship training and assessment
  • tell to stop or pause payments (for example, if your apprentice stops their training, takes a break from training or you haven’t received the service you agreed with the provider)

We fully back this scheme as a business and, as an industry, it’s our job together to help promote the ways in which you can get into it, be it through gaining a degree or the apprenticeship way. You now have the choice to decide which option is better for you.

Find out more about our opportunities on our careers page:

or with the video below:

Dale Parmenter

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