David Way is chief executive of the National Apprenticeship Service

Earlier this month, we announced that our Apprenticeship vacancy system had received a record-breaking 100,000 Apprenticeship applications in June.  The number of vacancies advertised on our online recruitment portal also stood at a record high of 15,000.  These numbers further reinforce the confidence of learners and employers in the Apprenticeship programme.  They also mean that more young people considering their options at present following examination results have the prospect of finding a great way of continuing their development through work.

Taking on apprentices is a very important responsibility.  When I visit employers, the ones who impress me the most are those whose Apprenticeship programmes are part of a wider talent development approach for their whole organisation.  This means that the training and development does not begin and end with the Apprenticeship.   It is only the start and there is a clear recognition that the full return on the investment in an Apprenticeship is only achieved if that individual is given the opportunity to continue to grow and develop their talents and skills afterwards.

It can be argued that an Apprenticeship that is designed solely to allow an apprentice to focus on their immediate role may produce profitable workers fast but will not fully embed them into the organisation.  However an Apprenticeship that enables apprentices to see the organisation from all angles and reflect on what they are learning helps produce employees who can contribute too many areas of the business over their career lifespan.  This type of training, termed by academics as an ‘expansive apprenticeship’, produces results which are clearly set out in the research reports.

When speaking with employers about Apprenticeships, I always think it is important to speak from my own experience of employing apprentices at NAS.  I have learnt a lot from our apprentices who routinely challenge us to re-evaluate upwards the work that we ask them to do.  They are so keen to learn and develop themselves further.  We realise the importance of creating a culture where existing staff embrace the apprentices and understand the importance of an inclusive workplace for all employees.  More experienced staff enjoy passing on their skills and do not always appreciate how much they know until the apprentices draw it out of them.  The energy and enthusiasm of our apprentices is infectious and affects all of their colleagues.

In NAS we have managed to turn our apprentices into ‘mini celebrities’.  I am not sure that this was a deliberate strategy!  We gave them a starring role at our Annual Conference, where they were able to present on the wide variety of work they had been involved in and answer questions from our staff about their own experiences as an apprentice.  I have to remind colleagues here that while our apprentices are often the centre of our attention, we should ensure that all members of staff get great training and development opportunities and support.

When speaking with our apprentices it is clear that one of their most memorable experiences at NAS has been to represent the organisation in our Apprentice Challenge.  Competing against teams of apprentices from Bentley, the Co-operative, Virgin Media, Rolls-Royce, Balfour Beatty, MBDA and Cobham, NAS apprentices raised over £1,325 for Cancer Research UK whilst raising the profile of Apprenticeships in the local and national press.  This success was not only celebrated by the apprentices themselves but by all our staff.  While the recognition that our apprentices receive is laudable in itself, its main value is to set the bar for the standards that all members of staff should expect.

Our recent employer survey, in which 4,000 employers were interviewed, highlighted that nearly half of the employers, 47%, had recommended Apprenticeships to other employers.  I also attended a round table in which employers were discussing ways in which they could do more to mentor employers who were not as far down the road of employing Apprentices.  This shows the high regard that Apprenticeships are held in by employers but I still do meet employers who are unsure about the investment needed to take on an apprentice.  I always say if you are ever in doubt about the worth of an apprentice, meet some.  In my experience they are not only the most knowledgeable but the most passionate as well.  Apprentices are the best role models and greatly enjoying this responsibility when given it.

David Way is chief executive of the National Apprenticeship Service

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

Which Will Be The First College? is now a featured video. 14 hours 16 minutes ago

Which Will Be The First College?

Stefan Drew of https://www.mediaset.co.uk/stefan-drew/ looks at the College of the Future .. # CollegeComm #CollegeoftheFuture Remember the first...

Stefan Drew shared a video in channel. 14 hours 21 minutes ago

Which Will Be The First College?

Stefan Drew of https://www.mediaset.co.uk/stefan-drew/ looks at the College of the Future .. # CollegeComm #CollegeoftheFuture Remember the first...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page