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#NAW2021: Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week

6th February 2021 – Tags: Apprenticeships

Despite the many challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the continuing commitment of employers, apprentices, and the Apprenticeship team at City College Norwich and Easton College has ensured there is a huge amount to celebrate during National Apprenticeship Week (8-14 February 2021). 

Whilst the impact of the pandemic on learning in schools, colleges and universities has been the focus of much attention, a significant amount of work-based learning has quietly continued throughout the challenges of the past year. 

City College Norwich currently has over 1,500 learners on Apprenticeship programmes, up to and including degree-level Apprenticeships, making it one of the largest providers in the region.  

Since the first national lockdown began in March 2020, the College has seen around 200 apprentices successfully complete their programmes. During the same period, there have been more than 500 Apprenticeship starts.  

Behind these figures are many examples of the enormous difference that Apprenticeships are making - to individual learners who have chosen this pathway, as well as to employers who benefit from having talented and committed apprentices within their organisation. 

Working differently to support apprentices during the pandemic 

With employers in all sectors having to change their operations due to Covid-19, a lot of adaptations have had to be made to support apprentices during this time. 

Ordinarily, apprentices have regular days when they attend college to supplement the learning they are doing within their workplace. In addition, an Apprenticeship assessor visits them in the workplace to see how they are doing and to support them as they work towards their qualification. 

During the pandemic the vast majority of this activity has had to move online; and with many apprentices currently working from home, the support provided by their employers has also changed. 

Staff at City College Norwich have had to employ all their creativity and problem-solving skills to enable apprentices to continue learning from home. Hairdressing Apprentices, for example, have been provided with model blockheads that they can practice their skills on during live group training sessions on Zoom. 

Apprenticeship milestones 

During the past year City College Norwich has continued to develop its Apprenticeship offer in response to employers’ needs. This has included the launch of new Apprenticeship Standards for Agriculture, Teaching Assistants, Early Years Educators, and a new Social Work Degree Apprenticeship. 

There have also been a number of key milestones achieved by the College’s Apprentices during the year, including the first group to complete the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship and the first group to complete the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship with Norfolk Teacher Training Centre. 

Build the Future 

Ed Rose, Director of Higher Education and Apprenticeships, City College Norwich, commented: 

Over the last year, despite the many challenges affecting all sectors, the support employers have given to their apprentices has been exceptional. There is a clear recognition that Apprenticeships are about taking a long-term view of skills, which is reflected in the theme of National Apprenticeship Week – build the future. The commitment of employers, assessors, and apprentices, coupled with their willingness to adapt to new ways of working during Covid, means we once again have many inspiring successes to celebrate.”   

How employers can find out more about Apprenticeships  

Employers can find out more about Apprenticeships by contacting City College Norwich’s Apprenticeship team at  

All of the college’s Apprenticeship employers are offered a comprehensive induction which covers everything they need to know about employing apprentices, covering things such as: the knowledge, skills and behaviours that make up the new Apprenticeship Standards; the role of the workplace mentor and off-the-job training; the support provided by the college; and how progress is reviewed.