This week Solent Partners Careers Hub has been giving students an exciting insight into future work opportunities at some of the region’s leading businesses as part of National Apprenticeship Week (NAW).

Solent Partners Chair Rachael Randall said: “National Apprenticeship Week is a great opportunity to highlight the incredible options that apprenticeships provide for both students and businesses.

“Through our Immersive Experience days, the Solent Careers Hub team want to inspire the next generation of professionals and foster meaningful connections between schools and local industries. Our feedback shows it is a positive and enjoyable experience for those taking part.”

NAW takes place between 5 to 11 February, and the Solent Partners Careers Hub has been working closely with schools and businesses. In preparation for the week, they sent every school in the Solent a printed pack of resources, to be shared with young people to illustrate the various types of apprenticeships available, the industries and jobs that can be entered via this route, and the benefits of being an apprentice.

The Solent Partners Careers Hub helped to organise a range of events over the week, from celebrations, careers evenings, and business tours, including Immersive Experience Days for young people. Immersive Experience Days take place throughout the year and are an opportunity for local employers to open their workplace to small groups of young people, giving them the chance to explore various industries in the Solent region and to learn about the roles, skills and career pathways available in the organisation.

During the week, pupils from Henry Cort Community College have had a tour of SGN, whilst Burgate School and Sixth Form are visiting Meachers. SGN recruiter Jamie Dowle said: “We’re supporting National Apprenticeship Week by giving students a hands-on look at one of our busiest depots to give them an idea of what it takes to keep people safe and warm all year round.

“The future of SGN and of sustainable energy is in the hands of bright, young students across the country – we want people with fresh ideas and diverse ways of thinking to join us and we’re on a mission to show young people the range of career opportunities available at SGN.” 

Young people from Toynbee School, and over 200 of their parents got the opportunity to speak with employers and training providers sourced by the Careers Hub, to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities this week. Approximately 60 of the pupils who attended are getting picked out of a hat to attend a breakfast celebration on the last day of NAW. 

Lee Fenner, Senior Leader of Learning for Careers at Wildern School said: 

“We’ve had a really successful National Apprenticeship Week at the School. We’ve been sharing the Amazing Apprenticeships materials sent to us by the Solent Partners Careers Hub, and Year 8 and upwards have enjoyed the opportunity to find out about apprenticeship options in assemblies – thank you to the South Hampshire College Group for this! 

The Careers Hub has supported us to run a Year 8 Speed Networking Event during this week where students got to interview volunteers from local businesses about their careers. They also aided us to set up and run our first parent and student Apprenticeship Fair where guests from local colleges, providers and businesses were on hand to promote Apprenticeships. This was the first time we have run something like this after school and it was a great success! It’s wonderful to see that employers are prepared to invest their time to support a young person’s career journey by opening their doors in this way, and in doing so, increasing awareness of apprenticeships and other career opportunities based here in the Solent. 

Apprenticeships are an excellent choice for school leavers who have a clear idea of the type of job role and career they would like to do. National Apprenticeship Week has been a good opportunity to have discussions about this career option.” 

The Careers Hub has also supported the Portsmouth Apprenticeship Bus, Shaping Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council’s vehicle that over the week is visiting 10 schools in the City, with presentations by over 20 organisations and businesses. This and all of the other of events and tours taking place this week as part of National Apprenticeship Week have aimed to bring students into workplaces, highlighting the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals’ careers, closing the skills gap for businesses, and boosting the regional economy. 

In addition to practical skills development in their chosen industry, apprentices benefit from workplace experience, receive earnings while they learn and are better prepared to meet the demands of the job market. 

Solent Partners Careers Hub is dedicated to promoting education and career development in the Solent region and strives to bridge the gap between academia and industry, providing students with real-world insights and opportunities. They bring together businesses and education and inspire young people about their future careers through a year-round programme of exciting events. 

Solent-based businesses can support the Solent Partners Careers Hub to develop careers learning for young people in the region; from as little as a single presentation, to a full Immersive Experience Day. To find out more about how your business can get involved in raising Solent’s children’s career aspirations go to our Employer Volunteers page.

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