Vocational training

Apprentice ambassadors will be recruited to spread the message of vocational training directly into classrooms

  • The program will fill skills and employment gaps in key regional industries
  • The project will focus on opportunities in areas where participation is lower
  • Working with the Government “Nudge Unit” will use behavioral insights to drive interest

A new group of apprentices will go to schools and colleges to act as ambassadors as they talk to other young people about the benefits of vocational training and T-levels.

The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) Careers Hub has partnered with the government’s Behavioral Insights team – the so-called ‘Nudge Unit’ – for an innovative project designed to get pupils and families thinking differently about the learning.

A UK-wide study found that two-thirds of young people did not discuss work placements or T-Levels at school. Just over 14% of students had never heard of apprenticeship.

The new project will tackle this problem by creating a network of Apprentice Ambassadors (AA) who will visit schools and colleges in Leicester and Leicestershire to answer questions about their experience and inspire others to consider it as a career path. .

The project will increase the number of local AAs recruited, trained, and made available for classroom engagement. AA members will come from a variety of sectors and social backgrounds. They will be supported by Employer Ambassadors (EAs) who want to support their communities and develop new talent pools.

Kevin Harris, Chairman of the LLEP Board, said: “By partnering with behavioral understanding specialists in government, we’ve created an innovative new approach where young people can discuss learning in their classrooms with like-minded A.A. members.

“The development of this project will help increase the region’s productivity by ensuring that we have people with the skills required by our employers.

“It will also focus on parts of the region where apprenticeships are not generally tracked.

“Such inclusiveness is important because young people are particularly affected by changes in the labor market that reduce entry-level positions typically covered by apprenticeships.”

The project is part of LLEP’s Careers Hub and Apprenticeship Strategy ambition to have a diverse Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (AAN) that engages and inspires the region’s future workforce.

This will ultimately contribute to changing perceptions about learning in the region. Young people who express an interest in vocational training will be introduced to the local Apprenticeship Skills and Knowledge (ASK) team and the Careers Hub network.

LLEP is now looking for local employers to join AAN as EAs. In doing so, they will develop the skills of their own apprentices, create a pool of future talent and give back to schools in their communities.

Local organizations working with apprentices, including all local FE colleges, Cadent Gas and the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, have already pledged their support.

Pieter Eksteen, Head of Education and Business Partnerships at the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, said: “Families are the most influential in children’s career decisions and this new project will make a difference by showing them that apprenticeships are a great option for school leavers and a real alternative to university.”

Gerarde Manley, Head of Careers Hub at LLEP, said: “Leading this project with a wide range of partners will help inspire young people to experience firsthand the wide range of internships available locally and where it can take them.

The project was launched as part of National Learning Week. Local employers, schools and colleges are now invited to identify up to 10 young people In their organization to join the network.

The project will continue through July 2022. Learn more or express your interest in becoming an EA by visiting https://bit.ly/LLEPApprenticeAmbassadors