National Apprenticeship Week 2020

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2020) is like Glastonbury, but for apprenticeships. Think of it like the Chelsea Flower Show, but celebrating the work of apprentices, not landscape gardeners. 

It takes place between the 3rd and 7th of February 2020, and this year, RateMyApprenticeship has partnered with Mazars. 

Here is everything you need to know about National Apprenticeship Week 2020...

What is National Apprenticeship Week?

National Apprenticeship Week is a five-day celebration of apprenticeships in England. It’s organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, and this will be its 13th year. 

NAW brings together all characters from within the apprenticeship community - employers, training providers, apprentices and young people who are thinking of taking the apprenticeship path. 

Last year there were over 500 events over the course of NAW. For NAW 2020, there promises to be even more. You can click here to find out what events are happening near you. 

Look Beyond

‘Look Beyond’ has been announced as the theme for NAW 2020. The National Apprenticeship Service says ‘Look Beyond’ will serve as a ‘rallying cry for the apprenticeship community to showcase the true diversity within apprenticeships’. 

They want you to look beyond the well-trodden and traditional paths into employment. You don’t have to do GCSEs, then A levels and then a degree to start a spectacular career. That’s just one of your options.

There are a crazy-number of careers available through apprenticeships. So explore and see what’s out there!

Why is NAW so important?

Apprenticeships are now considered to be an equal and real alternative to going to university. 

In the past, they were seen as routes into trade industries - perfect for young people looking to become electricians or plumbers. Apprenticeships were for those who were not very academic. That was the perception. 

Now, the reality is different. Apprenticeships are a logical route for high achievers that want to start a career immediately after leaving school or college. There are also opportunities offered by all of the big companies, across every sector. 

And each year, the number and range of apprenticeships on offer increases. That is why NAW is so important… to highlight the amazing stories of former and current apprentices, and inspire others to kick-start their own career.

“With National Apprenticeship Week now going into its thirteenth year, everyone behind and involved in it must also ‘Look Beyond’ and consider how and where we talk about apprenticeships, to ensure that we reach all corners and communities of the country with this important message.”

Keith Smith

Director, Education and Skills Funding Agency

How RateMyApprenticeship and Mazars are getting involved in #NAW2020

National Apprenticeship Week gets bigger every year, and #NAW2020 is set to be the grandest celebration of apprenticeships yet.

RateMyApprenticeship and global audit, accounting and consulting group, Mazars, are really passionate about apprenticeships. We just love them.

Bringing young, enthusiastic and talented individuals into a business has huge benefits for all involved. 

Apprentices inject fresh ideas and impetus into a brand, fill skills gaps and overall transform how a business works.

Amy Reynolds, Tax Partner with Mazars, shares her journey from apprentice to partner…

What motivates you and what values guide you?

Some people will think I am very odd at this point, but I have known what I wanted to do and where I wanted to get to since I was at primary school – and that was to be a partner in an accountancy practice (I believe in dreaming big!).

Having this goal has motivated me all the way through my career and has kept me going whenever I have had bad days. Having that ultimate aim has always helped me to set out the stepping stones along the way.

I believe that you have to push for what you want to achieve, but along the way you need to take time for helping others (as it will be repaid).

What has been the most defining point in your career to date?

Making partner – and being the youngest partner at Mazars at the time at age 33. Unfortunately the day after was a bit of a slump of “What now?!”

What does leadership mean to you? And what makes you a good leader?

To me, leadership is all about being someone that people look up to – a positive role model. I like to lead by example and to give back to my team, in terms of time, opportunities, coaching and recognition. But in return I expect all of my team to be giving 100% back and to support me.

What advice would you give to other women for advancing in their careers?

Aim high! There is nothing wrong with aiming to be at the top of the organisation when you are just starting, as long as you can break it down into smaller steps along the way. It’s always a big tick in the box for me when I interview a new trainee and they can see beyond just qualifying. 

However, career progression has to come from the person, it’s never going to be handed to you on a plate – you have to be doing the right things and asking for it. I find it frustrating when someone complains that they haven’t been promoted, yet they haven’t completed their objectives or shown any passion and enthusiasm about going over and above.

You should also remember that everybody’s career path is different and there is no right way to go about it – I never went to university, I went in to my career back to front compared to most people, going from industry to practice and not starting in compliance and yet it never held me back.

Our Tips for NAW 2020

We've put together these tips and tricks to make sure you get the most out of NAW 2020. It doesn't matter if you're a student, a teacher, a careers advisor, a parent or a shetland pony, we've got you covered. 

  • Sign up to RateMyApprenticeship to be the first to know about school and college leaver jobs and to keep up with all #NAW2019 activity. 
  • Have a read of our Highest Paid Apprenticeships and Best Apprenticeships in the UK pages. They're packed like an over-filled steak bake with useful info.  
  • See if your school or college has one of our guidebooks, A Guide To Career Options 2020. Inside you'll find out EVERYTHING you need to know about apprenticeships. If not, download our digital version of the guide.