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Where Women Work celebrates UK National Apprenticeship Week

Where Women Work celebrates UK National Apprenticeship Week

 February 25, 2019

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The UK's annual week-long campaign, National Apprenticeship Week, brings together the whole apprenticeship community to celebrate the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy. The campaign theme is ‘Blaze a Trail' and involves multiple individuals, employers, partners and providers in activities to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships.

Keith Smith, Apprenticeships Director, Education and Skills Funding Agency, says: “The success of previous National Apprenticeship Weeks tells us that one week dedicated to celebrating, promoting and realising the importance of apprenticeships and their impact enables an apprenticeship movement across our sector. This movement sees employers, providers, partners and apprentices themselves grasp the opportunity and get involved in our celebration, creating fascinating events and opportunities to share the many benefits apprenticeship bring.”

To mark the occasion, Where Women Work takes a look at the apprenticeship opportunities currently on offer from a range of progressive employers.


AECOM’s Apprenticeship Programme has been established to support and train school leavers - and it is proving very popular with talented women. AECOM also has Apprentice Plus, a scheme designed to tap into a new group of potential employees - namely people who have delayed the start of their career or who want to refocus their career after a break. Apprentices can expect to work on really exciting projects at AECOM and have the opportunity to collaborate with teams who are working to improve the built environment.

Elle Gaffney, Early Careers Talent Lead, says:“Our apprentices are given the space they need to deliver on their apprenticeships, and they are provided with a manager who wants them to do well.”


Amazon is the perfect place to start a career, with a range of apprenticeship opportunities to suit different candidates with different backgrounds, qualifications and career aspirations.

The global company has ambitious plans and wants to continue to deliver and retain the best talent through its apprenticeship programs. This means that its schemes are aimed at people who have a passion for learning new skills and who want to start their career now – possibly as an alternative to college or university.

There are various apprenticeships on offer, including Automation Engineering, Digital and Technology Solutions Professional, IT Management for Business, Infrastructure Technician and Network Engineering/Project Management, Advanced Mechatronics and Operations Business Improvement Techniques. There really is a world of opportunity awaiting at Amazon.


Arcadis offers an exciting apprenticeship programme for young people. Cath Greaves, Client Development Director ES&I, comments: "By taking advantage of the talent coming through the government's Apprenticeship programme and creating an Environmental and Safety Apprentices training programmes to cover key skills and client need, Arcadis is building a new core of talent for the sector."

"Diversity in age is bringing a new dimension to our team and I have been really pleased to witness how a range of academic experience provides real and positive challenge to conventional thinking. It challenges the limitations of ‘group think’. I have also seen enhanced digital and technological skills across our teams, which we are using to increase productivity and plug some of the gaps the skills shortage is throwing up," she adds.

Arcadis has also identified a further route to young talent. The Arcadis Global Excellence Centres (GECs) bring new insight, new perspectives and is part of the company's diverse ‘One Team’ approach.

Interested to learn more about life as an apprentice with Arcadis? Mollie Wilson, an Apprentice Cost Consultant, has shared her experiences in a special interview feature. Read her story here.


By joining Capgemini's apprentice community, learners get the opportunity to work with exciting clients across a number of sectors as part of a dynamic team. Their apprenticeship scheme offers people the change to learn career-defining skills, gain expert knowledge and expand their horizons. With award-winning apprenticeships in technology, finance and cyber security, Capgemini offers a range of apprentice roles delivering technology solutions for some of the UK’s household names.

One junior programmer says: “Shortly after joining the Higher Apprentice programme, I wanted to be able to give something back to not only the company, but the wider community. I want to share my passion for technology and inspire young students into careers in consulting. So right now, I’ve been helping to develop the Higher Apprentice programme for future intakes.”

The Intitution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

The IET is calling for outstanding individuals to be nominated for the IET Apprentice of the Year Award. This special accolade is for someone who stands out from their peers and has become a role model to others.

The award is designed to recognise individuals who have made noteworthy achievements in their area of expertise. It is about individuals who are setting a good example to others and are passionate about promoting engineering to the world.

This is just one of many initiatives from the IET that rewards and encourages young learners.

The IET is to present an apprentice award

Rio Tinto

For those looking to push their potential in an excellent learning environment, Rio Tinto's four-year apprenticeship programmes are the perfect route to a trade qualification.

The company’s apprenticeship programmes offer real, on-the-job experience at a world-class iron ore operation, whilst working towards a nationally-recognised qualification.

Opportunities are available for those keen to qualify in the following roles: Mobile equipment mechanic - heavy diesel, Mechanical fitter, Electrician, Fabricator and Auto electrician.

Schneider Electric

The Schneider Electric Apprenticeship Programme offers high school leavers, training college students and electrical apprentices the opportunity to explore a broad range of entry-level roles within the organisation. The three-year programme offers apprentices hands-on experience and valuable insights from the people that make the company excel in all areas.

“You'll be given an opportunity to work in many areas of the company in order to gain a broad understanding before being allocated a specific role for longer term development,” the company explains. “Whilst learning ‘on the job’, you'll also be undertaking college based study on a day release basis to enable you to obtain a formal academic qualification.”

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is committed to offering the highest quality apprenticeships that will impact productivity and growth not only in the organisation, but also in the city, the wider region and the UK. Apprenticeships are for all age groups 16 and over, and are for individuals leaving school, college or part-time work who want to changes their lives and not only get into sustainable employment but gain a skill set that is in global demand. As an employer, apprenticeships offer the University a route to increase productivity and fill skills gaps, either by recruiting apprentices or supporting University employees to undertake appropriate apprenticeships to retrain or upskill.


Vodafone’s Apprenticeship Programme allows those taking part to work for one of the most exciting companies in the UK while developing their skills and knowledge with real industry experts. With programmes for those educated to both GCSE and A Level standard, it’s a fantastic opportunity to kick start a new career, be paid for your time and earn valuable, real-world experience while studying.

Former apprentice Laura says: "I felt like I wanted to kick start my career by getting experience whilst doing so; an apprenticeship programme is the best of both worlds as you learn on the job and you get a qualification at the end. After realising university was not for me, I decided to look for an apprenticeship. I felt like I wanted to kick start my career by getting experience whilst doing so; an apprenticeship programme is the best of both worlds as you learn on the job and you get a qualification at the end."

Consider an apprenticeship with a #PrimeEmployerforWomen

Studying for an apprenticeship and gaining real-world, on-the-job experience is an excellent alternative to university. There are many companies with vibrant and diverse work cultures across the UK and beyond offering apprenticeships for hard-working, ambitious women. Why not use 2019’s National Apprenticeship Week to search and apply?

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


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