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Making waves #NAW2020

Best team and 1 other category | 5 February 2020 | Candy Redfern

It is with great excitement this week I get to talk about National Apprenticeship week, which at Bidfood we are now celebrating for the 3rd year! I feel I have a unique insight, being in the position of leading Apprenticeship provision for Bidfood, and being on an Apprenticeship MBA myself. Attitudes to Apprenticeships are shifting, with many employers using the levy as a route in to providing great development opportunities.

I’m delighted that over the last year we have seen our first programmes graduate and we have a number of cohorts moving towards their end point assessment, the final hurdle to completing their qualification. We have been able to support many of  our employees  through our Line Manager Excellence Programme and our Appetite for Success Talent Programme both of which are underpinned by the L3 Team Leader Apprenticeship, we’ve also utilised the LGV Apprenticeship with  our Warehouse to Wheels programme and we are about to start our first Sales Apprenticeship Programme using the L4 Sales Executive Apprenticeship. It used to be that Apprentices “made the tea” – we’ve now come full circle where they are more likely to sell it, pick it or deliver it!

The theme for this year’s NAW is “Look Beyond” and I thought it would be good to share how we are looking beyond our current offering to ensure the best development opportunities via the levy:

  1. We have partnered with a training provider called REMIT who will be our first port of call for level 2 – level 5 programmes. They will be road showing in depots this year – starting with our Slough Depot and Business Support Centre.
  2. We have extended the reach of our development offering to consider how we can recruit apprentices and graduates into “early careers roles” and will be talking to management teams about how to utilise these opportunities.
  3. We have been working with one of our charity partners Springboard to offer their employees apprenticeship development as part of our sustainability commitment.

Apprenticeships work best when we have a great partnership between the apprentice, their line manager and the training provider supplier. Where we are recruiting young people into roles, it may also be necessary to engage with their parents to ensure they have the support at home to see an apprenticeship as a viable route to employment over university. It is vital that line managers support apprentices by ensuring they gain time to learn with their 20% off the job, and gain an opportunity for enrichment activities.

Enjoy the rest of this year’s NAW, i’d love to hear about any examples of how you are making apprenticeships come to life in your business.

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