Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week at University Academy Holbeach
The proof – if proof were needed – that apprenticeships work at University Academy Holbeach (UAH) sits at the head of the table in the apprenticeship department.
Tasmin Chapman-Malkin started out as a business admin apprentice at UAH and now – eight years later – is in charge of a highly successful and fast-growing department.
The facilities and opportunities available at the Park Road centre are second to none – indeed, UAH was the first secondary school in the country to be offered the opportunity to deliver apprenticeships.
Since then, the programme has developed to provide progression into employment for many students in a wide range of sectors.
From nine apprentices when the centre opened in 2009, more than 100 youngsters from a wide area – one as far away as Leicester – are now undertaking apprenticeships based at UAH.
And the centre has just been accredited by the Apprentice Register – which permits them to approach national companies who pay into a central ‘levy pot’ created by the government to fund and encourage the creation of more apprenticeships.
It is an exciting development for the centre, which already has bespoke training facilities for vocational areas such as motor mechanics, horticulture, brickwork, woodwork and hair and beauty.
“We have an MOT bay with examination pit, an industrial greenhouse and an in-house spa amongst our facilities,” said Tasmin. I am immensely proud of what we have here. We also offer apprenticeships to become a teaching assistant and to work in business administration within the school itself.”
The apprentice centre runs alongside the school’s sixth form. In fact, both launched at the same time. Around 60 per cent of the centre’s current intake comes from Year 11 at UAH, but Tasmin, as head of the centre, visits all local schools for careers talks and attends job fairs and careers fairs throughout the year to show off the outstanding range of apprenticeships and facilities available.
She said: “Apprenticeships are still quite frowned upon, which is wrong, as there are four different levels and you can receive the same qualification as going though A-levels and university.
“And with the national accreditation we have just received, next year we will be looking at providing engineering apprenticeships – something which will be a huge asset to the local area.”
So what are apprenticeships all about?
What’s an apprenticeship? It’s a genuine job, with training, meaning you can earn while you learn and gain a nationally recognised qualification.
What are the benefits?
Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond. More than 50 UK universities offer degree apprenticeships with more to be confirmed.
– Earning a salary and paid holiday;
– Excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace;
– Increased future earning potential: apprentices enjoy marked salary increases on finishing their training and those completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.*
The minimum wage for apprentices is £3.50 per hour, but many employers pay more than this. This is dependent on the sector, region and apprenticeship level e.g. some higher apprenticeships pay up to £500 per week.
Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16 living in England. There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job.
Legislation has come into effect which changes the minimum English and maths requirements needed to complete an apprenticeship for those with a learning difficulty or disability. The changes will lower English and maths requirements.