National Apprenticeship Week 2020: Explained For Parents

Is your child just starting to explore their career options? Or perhaps you’re the proud (and slightly smug) parent of a current apprentice, looking to inspire others?

Either way, National Apprenticeship Week 2020 is the perfect time for you to quiz employers, hear first-hand from current apprentices, and find out more about the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship.

It’s the most talked about event in the apprenticeship community’s calendar. So, we’ve put together this quick-fire guide to help you get the most out of it.

What actually is National Apprenticeship Week?

Now in its 13th year and co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, National Apprenticeship Week is a week-long celebration of all things apprenticeship.

Taking place from the 3rd - 7th February this year, an exciting line-up of events is planned for National Apprenticeship Week 2020. And, for the first time, it has been extended to include the weekend, giving you even more opportunity to get stuck in with your kids.

“I am thrilled that National Apprenticeship Week 2020 will take place during early February 2020. It’s a chance to celebrate apprentices and the brilliant work being done by schools, the FE sector and employers across the country to promote the huge benefits of apprenticeships.” Anne Milton, Former Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills

Over the 13 years, National Apprenticeship Week has brought together apprentices, employers, parents, training providers, MPs and ambassadors from across the country, in a series of insightful events designed to fire up conversation around apprenticeships.

This year’s theme asks these key stakeholders to Look Beyond the outdated stereotypes that still surround apprenticeships, and instead recognise the diversity of opportunity and value that they bring to everyone involved.

For instance, did you know that the average banking and finance apprentice earns £20,218 a year? Or that young people today can train on-the-job in almost any sector? Apprenticeships come in all shapes and sizes; from Level 3 Engineering Management at the MOD to Degree Apprenticeships in Digital Marketing.

In fact, many of the country’s finest employers - including GSK, Accenture and Unilever - now employ apprentices straight out of school. Browse our Top Employers 2019-2020 to discover the best employers in the UK for apprenticeships.

Still think apprenticeships are for underachievers? Have a read of our ‘Five Apprenticeship Myths Debunked for Parents’. It’s perfect bedtime reading. (For you, not the kids).

Why is National Apprenticeship Week important?

“Savvy parents are recognising the importance of their children getting their foot on the career ladder at an early age. On-the-job experience and a pathway to professional status are recognised as a surer route to future success than the jobs lottery that many graduates face today.” Ann Francke, CEO at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

Like those parents, it’s time to get savvy.

Today’s graduates face an average debt of £50,000, and a staggering 48% regret their decision to go to university in the first place. In the meantime, hundreds of top employers are turning their attention to hiring apprentices.

An apprentice bypasses university, going straight from school or college into a paid, structured training programme with an employer. They gain a unique insight into their chosen career, build a professional skill set, and pick up industry qualifications along the way.

As well as educating young people and businesses, National Apprenticeship Week is a brilliant opportunity for you to explore the diversity of career options and industries now available to your child through apprenticeships.

So, read on to find out how you can get involved… 

How can parents get involved?

Here are a few ways parents can actively participate in National Apprenticeship Week...

1. Attend an event

There’s no better way for you to learn about apprenticeships than seeing what all the fuss is about for yourself. As well as hearing success stories from those who have taken on an apprenticeship themselves, attending an event will get you invaluable face time with the people who run these schemes.

There are hundreds of events happening in schools, universities and businesses up and down the country this year - kicking off with THE #NAW2020 BIG ASSEMBLY on Monday 3 February.

This annual, interactive webinar sees tens of thousands of students have a group discussion about their futures. Encourage your child to tune in and ask any questions they might have through the live chat facility here:

Skip to 3:00 for a look at 2017’s Big Assembly.

Employers will be opening their doors throughout the week to showcase the huge impact their apprentices have made on the business. This might be in the form of workplace tours, parent panels, apprentice and manager Q&As, or presentations from current/former apprentices.

PwC, for example, are hosting a ‘Dive into Digital’ day at their Reading office; packed with interactive workshops and activities to educate students in Years 10-13 (and their teachers or parents) about their fully-funded Computer Science and Software Engineering degrees.

Use this handy Apprenticeship Events Map to find events near you.

2. Fuel the conversation

Got Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? You and your child can get behind National Apprenticeship Week by:

  • Taking part in a Twitter Q&A - #AskAnApprentice (12-2pm on Wednesday 5 February) or #AskanEmployer (12-2pm Thursday 6 February).
  • Sharing NAW2020 collateral on your social media profile, or in any parent forums you may be part of.
  • Using #NAW2020 and #LookBeyond hashtags.
  • Following @ratemyapprenticeship on Instagram to find out how we’re getting involved.

3. Share your experiences

This is one for any parents of current or former apprentices.

If YOU were concerned when your child first told you that they wanted to do an apprenticeship, there are probably THOUSANDS of other parents out there also scared stiff.

So, help them out by sharing your own experiences! As well as joining the conversation on social media, you could put yourself forward for any Parent Q&As your child’s employer may be running.

You could even reach out to your local school or college and see whether there are any apprenticeship-focused parents evenings you can join. Get in touch with them directly, or download the NAW2020 Supporter Toolkit for Parents to find your local ASK (The Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools and Colleges) contractor’s contact details. 

Head over to our blog to find out how Kerry Viljoen felt about her daughter ditching university for an apprenticeship with top accountancy firm Mazars.

4. Find out more

For any questions about National Apprenticeship Week, email:

For more information on apprenticeships, visit:

To stay in the loop, follow the National Apprenticeship Service:

Twitter: @Apprenticeships
Instagram: @fireitupapps
Facebook: FireItUpApps
LinkedIn: National Apprenticeship Service

Here at RateMyApprenticeship, we think about apprenticeships all year round. Which is why our Parents Advice is packed with up-to-date information on apprenticeship levels, top employers, salaries and more.

Head over there now to help your child make the right career choices for them.

Encourage your child to sign up to They’ll be the first to know about job opportunities, career advice and events like National Apprenticeship Week...