14 November 2016

Proud moment with The Asian Apprenticeship Awards

THE very best in apprentices from the British Asian community have taken a bow at a very special awards presentation. The first ever Asian Apprenticeship Awards took place on the 10th November 2016. These awards aim is to celebrate and showcase the best of British Asian Apprentices and the people that employ and train them.

Background and context

Apprenticeships provide value for individuals, businesses, and the economy. Over the last 5 years, more than two million apprenticeship courses have been delivered; the government is now aiming for another three million recruits by the year 2020.

For those who are involved within this particular field, the ultimate goal is that the prospect of higher education, no longer outweighs the opportunity to embark upon an apprenticeship. And with the expansion of Higher, and Degree Apprenticeships available, this seems more likely than ever before.

The opportunities for apprenticeships are rapidly increasing every year. With an immense rise in specialised and highly skilled apprenticeship courses being offered. The government has also put employers in the driving seat – groups of employers, large and small are working together to design apprenticeships so that they respond to the needs of their industries. Current apprenticeship frameworks are being replaced by standards. The aim is to increase the quality of apprenticeships- introducing more rigorous testing at the end of the apprenticeship to ensure that the apprentice is fully competent and grading to challenge and stretch.

There is also the additional change to apprenticeship funding with again the employers being in the driving seat with funding shifting towards them and for employers taking a central role of their own budgets. The first of these changes is planned to take place in May 2017 with these additional changes there is no doubt that apprenticeships will shift into main stream language and culture.

There is a universal commitment in the UK of being able to extend opportunities for everyone, regardless of their race, gender, or religion. In this respect, a number of government targets have been placed to improve the labour market chances for all. These include increasing the quantity of apprenticeships taken on by young people deriving from BME backgrounds by 20%, and then increasing BME employment by another 20%, by the year 2020.

British Asian community is under represented

Most of us recognise that for the success of businesses and therefore the economy and the country as a whole we have to be able to draw upon a skilled and motivated workforce.
It is also clear that our apprentices are vital to providing those skills. But it is also clear that there are not enough of them and especially not enough of them from the British Asian communities.
So the challenge for us is how to help address this issue.

The Asian Apprenticeship Awards are all about doing something practical to make a positive difference and we will continue to do so by highlighting, recognising and celebrating apprenticeship success both with individuals, employers and learning providers that support them.

As the Founder and Chair of the Asian Apprenticeship Awards I stated that “Apprentices are vital to our future but the British Asian community is under represented and “The best way to raise awareness and to encourage others is to show what can be achieved and we have been delighted by the response from apprentices, employers and sponsors.” “Without the support of our apprentices, the people who employ them, our sponsors, judges and ambassadors this event would not have been possible.”

It is envisaged that the Asian Apprenticeship Awards which had representation from across the country and industries will become an annual event.

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