Today is the last day of this week’s ‘Apprenticeship Week’ in the UK, which is part of the UK Government’s drive to create three million apprenticeships for young people. The theme of this year’s Apprenticeship Week is tied to the slogan “An apprenticeship can take you anywhere”. As part of the campaign, EY has announced that it will hire new 200 apprentices this summer, providing a starting salary of up to £21,500.
The UK government is seeking to create three million apprenticeships in a bid to help young people, a group with the highest level of unemployment in the UK, on a trajectory towards meaningful work. Employers, seeking to develop young talent, can too benefit from providing foundational training for their future workforce. As part of its ambition, the UK government has launched ‘Apprenticeship week’, which ran this week. The theme of the week is “An apprenticeship can take you anywhere”, with particular focus placed on showing apprenticeship candidates that higher skills learned through Apprenticeship can help them, through entrepreneurs and businesses, “rise to the top”.
The UK’s top employer for school leavers, EY, has on the back of the campaign announced it will take in 200 apprentices this coming September. Successful applicants will be provided with a structured programme that combines on-the-job coaching and working with clients from day one. The role will be paid a starting salary of up to £21,500, with the career path and experiences the same as for graduates.
The rising cost of tertiary education means that more and more young people are considering other paths into meaningful employment, the consultancy firm is creating an opening for young people to bypass the tertiary education trajectory, in favour of on the job training. Maggie Stilwell, EY’s Managing Partner for Talent in the UK and Ireland, remarks: “We also expect the popularity and demand for high quality apprenticeship schemes to rise, especially given the Government’s focus on creating more available places and with the entry of ‘Generation Z’ or post-millennials, who are looking for alternative entry routes into the workplace. With the rising cost of a University education, students are considering their options more carefully than they ever have done before.”
The programme is open to young people across the UK, and, following structural changes to the recruitment procedure at EY, does not impose strict educational achievement entry conditions (formally a minimum of 300 UCAS points and/or a 2:1 degree classification), in favour of a more nuance ‘strengths’ based testing procedure. The move is in part aimed to increase social mobility and diversity within its ranks. Stilwell adds: “Our aim is to open up the world of work for young people by removing barriers, such as academic entry criteria, and offering a range of different entry routes to suit them. It is a commercial imperative for us to attract talented individuals from all backgrounds. At EY we have seen first-hand how diverse teams working in an inclusive environment can drive a better business performance.”