Businesses not attracting diverse base of applicants leaves apprenticeship targets unmet

Businesses not attracting diverse base of applicants leaves apprenticeship targets unmet


A new platform, Apprentice Nation, launched this week to help address the shortfall in apprenticeship uptake and inspire young people to take up apprenticeships. With apprenticeship starts down 28% on the previous year, only 11% of those were from diverse backgrounds*. This is despite the government’s own commitment to increase the proportion of apprenticeship starts by people from diverse backgrounds by 20% by 2020.

The figures show how more effort is needed to make those who may not feel inspired, or simply disenfranchised, disrespected and disempowered by the job market, aware of apprenticeships. As well as the government’s self-imposed targets being missed, it also means not enough businesses are successfully using apprenticeships to diversify their workforces.

Apprentice Nation is the coming together of RockCorps, who have a proven track record of inspiring young people to take action through music gigs, and WhiteHat, Euan Blair and Sophie Adelman’s start-up building an outstanding alternative to university through apprenticeships. Apprentice Nation is determined to engage a generation of potential future leaders who see apprenticeships as their route to success.

Stephen Greene, CEO of RockCorps and Producer of Apprentice Nation, said: “There is this upside-down reality at the moment where businesses are hungry for brilliant young people from diverse backgrounds and with a variety of experiences, yet the way opportunities are presented means they’re often not reaching the very people they want.  

"It’s crucial that young people from all walks of life can see themselves in the roles and know that the employer is looking for wonderfully passionate people just like them. This is why WhiteHat and RockCorps have created Apprentice Nation – we’re using RockCorps’ method of inspiring through music and culture in order to engage young people alongside WhiteHat’s progressive apprenticeship model to shake things up for the better”.

Euan Blair, CEO of WhiteHat and co-founder of Apprentice Nation said: “We’re really excited to be launching Apprentice Nation – a model which will allow us to build up and then amplify the apprenticeship brand and reach a much wider range of people from different backgrounds across the UK. There are some really incredible careers you can pursue by taking the apprenticeship route, and that’s something for everyone to be excited about. We’re enabling young people to be part of something we think will play a defining role in shaping the future of work.”

Action Days will be held nationwide for 500 applicants in each city, and include; three hours of advice on apprenticeships and interview tips, two hours of social action, at the end everyone earns a ticket to an exclusive concert.

Apprentice Nation’s first gig will be held at Under the Bridge in London on 16th May, featuring 6LACK, the alternative R&B star from Atlanta who is three times Grammy nominated. There will be gigs every six months in different locations around the country. Every young person who attends an action day with Apprentice Nation will qualify for a ticket – the only way to get access.

6LACK says: “I’m very happy to be supporting Apprentice Nation and playing a show in the UK. I know as well as anyone that there is no one set way to get to where you want to be. We need to do more to let young people know what’s out there and what opportunities are available to them so that they can achieve their goals and dreams.”

* Apprenticeship Statistics: England, Briefing Paper Number 06113, by Andrew Powell, 11 February 2019


Thursday, 21 March 2019

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