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Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week and will once again tour schools across Staffordshire in an iconic 42ft American school bus to celebrate.

Running from 5 – 11 February 2024, this years’ National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) theme is `Skills for Life' and is an opportunity for the education and skills sector to celebrate the achievements of apprentices and the positive impact they make to communities, businesses, and the wider economy.

NSCG’s Work-Based Learning team and the College group’s Schools’ Liaison team will be out and about celebrating the success and progress of its apprentices across different areas including education, health, IT, business administration, finance and engineering.

Embarking on February 5 through to February 9, NSCG will be visiting a total of 20 schools across Staffordshire and will host interactive apprenticeship-themed activities and quizzes with prizes up for grabs for participating Year 11 students. There will also be on campus events at Newcastle and Stafford with the teams on hand to answer any questions from college learners who may be considering an apprenticeship when they progress from their current course.

Jane Tunnicliff, Group Head of Employer Engagement and Training, said: “Apprenticeships give learners the best of both worlds, allowing them to earn a wage and develop a career alongside studying for a nationally recognised qualification.

“They allow students to put their learning into practice straight away and climb that career ladder faster; we can’t wait to speak to students during National Apprenticeships Week about the benefits of apprenticeships at NSCG.”

Pupils from year 11 will also benefit from hearing from current apprentices and will find out how an apprenticeship can equip them with future-ready skills. The team from NSCG’s Apprenticeship Hub will also be on hand throughout the tour to share what makes a successful apprenticeship application and answer any questions.

Dean Scott, a Level 3 Information Services apprentice at NSCG will be sharing his experiences throughout the week. On his decision behind choosing a vocational pathway, he said: “I went to my high school’s sixth form until 2020 and left after the pandemic, going straight into part-time employment for three years.

“I was desperate for a career change and studying an apprenticeship was perfect for me. I had been trying to find courses that fitted in-between working hours and jobs that fitted in-between study hours, and in retrospect the answer was obvious – I just which I’d looked into apprenticeships sooner.

“That’s why National Apprenticeship Week is so important as young people can discover the benefits and find out more. I’ve been working in my current role for more than nine months now alongside attending weekly study sessions and I have been able to further my professional and personal development, all while earning a wage and gaining a qualification that will stay with me throughout my career.”

The theme for #NAW2024 is Skills for Life, focusing on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career.

Now in its 17th year, the week acts an opportunity to showcase all of the exciting careers an apprenticeship could lead to from bricklaying, carpentry and engineering all the way through to business, childcare and digital skills, including higher-level degree apprenticeship programmes.

Want to find out more about apprentices and how the Apprenticeship Hub can help you boost your career? Click here.