The 10th annual National Apprenticeship Week – co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service – took place from 6-10 March 2017, with hundreds of events taking place across England.

The objective of National Apprenticeship Week 2017 (#NAW2017) is to increase awareness and take-up of apprenticeships and traineeships. We also want to showcase the achievements and skills gained by those currently in apprenticeships.

The overarching theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2017 is ‘Ladder of Opportunity’, focusing on the progression routes of apprenticeships, from traineeships through to higher and Degree apprenticeships.

To celebrate, Derby Homes held a week of activities, including job swaps, school/college visits, work shadowing and an intergenerational coffee morning. It culminated with a celebratory buffet lunch on Friday 10 March 2017, attended by Derby Homes Board Members, Councillor Sarah Russell, Cabinet Member for Educations and Skills and Councillor Sara Bolton, Cabinet Member for Safeguarding and Children and Young People.

At the ceremony, a video was shown that featured current and former apprentices talking about their day-to-day roles, the skills they had gained, and why they felt an apprenticeship had been the right choice for them.

As it was the 10th anniversary of National Apprenticeship Week, Derby Homes invited former apprentices from over the last decade to attend – many of whom came from their own staff. The celebration recognised the impact and contribution apprentices have made to Derby Homes over that time.

Councillor Sarah Russell spoke at the event, and thanked the apprentices for their hard work:

It’s massively important that we praise the hard work of apprentices, and the contribution that you all make – not just to Derby Homes, but to the local and national economy.

We’ve got a really proud history in Derby of getting young people into apprenticeships, and there’s been a lot of hard work that’s gone into the Derby Homes apprentice program, developing exceptional talent that contributes hugely to Derby and the wider community. I want to thank everyone here who has worked so hard to make this week, and the apprenticeship program, so successful.

Derby Homes’ Managing Director Maria Murphy – who herself began work 35 years ago as a Derby Homes’ trainee – said:

Derby Homes currently have 21 apprentices across the organisation in a variety of roles, as well as many members of staff who began as apprentices and went on to gain permanent jobs with us.

The experience gained through apprenticeships is something really invaluable. Unlike being in a classroom, our apprentices are out doing the job, learning from our staff and gaining experience alongside their qualifications. It’s always great to see how quickly our apprentices develop in such a short space of time – both as employees and as people.

View more photos can be viewed on Flicker from National Apprenticeship Week 2017.

Watch a great film made by Derby Homes as part of National Apprenticeships Week 2017.  Derby City Council Adult Learning Service provides the training for the business administration apprentices at Derby Homes: you can see Bonnie, Nahum and George talking about their experiences as apprentices.

Published: Friday 10th March