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SITU National Apprenticeship Week banner

Last week was National Apprenticeships Week (NAW) 2021! The theme for this year was ‘Build the Future’ and as apprenticeship ambassadors, it was our responsibility to help spread awareness of how individuals can develop the knowledge and skills needed to get their dream career via an apprenticeship. Each day had a different theme to ensure everyone could get involved in NAW 2021.

Monday 8th – Launch Day

10:00 – 10.30: Oxfordshire NAW prep-session. During this session, apprenticeship ambassadors spoke to the members of OxLEP Skills who will be presenting the apprenticeship sessions during NAW2021. They advised us on the content we should include and suggested we created some slides for the talk we were participating in. I will be participating in the ASK awareness session for parents and carers across Oxfordshire on Thursday 11th Feb.

12:30 – 13:30: For National Apprenticeships Week, I was invited to attend a 60-minute masterclass called ‘Apprentices Connect Together - ACT to Ignite Healthy Minds webinar’ with celebrity coach, George Anderson, who helped us to create a positive mindset whilst working from home, advice on how to stay focused and how to build our inner motivation! It was a truly inspirational talk and is definitely worth a watch.

Watch the ACT to Ignite Healthy Minds webinar.

Tuesday 9th - #AskAnEmployer

12.00 – 14.00: Employers used the hashtag #AskAnEmployer to encourage their followers to ask any questions they may have about apprenticeships.

View the University of Oxford Apprenticeships Q&A. (Once on the link, click on the NAW2021 highlight).

Wednesday 10th - #AskAnApprentice

12:15 – 12:45: CV Workshop with UCAS, presented by Reed.co.uk. During this session I learnt about the layout your CV should be in and what kind of information to include. Advice that stood out to me during this session included:

  • Start your CV by writing a short personal statement introducing who you are, what you offer and your career goals. (However, if you have limited space, this is not necessary).
  • Within your work experience, showcase your transferable skills. To do this, use action words such as ‘Transformed’ , ‘Advocated’ and ‘Achieved.’
  • Add quantifiable data to your achievements. For instance, ‘I regularly deliver conferences to over 100 listeners.’
  • You may feel that adding a ‘Hobbies and Interests’ section to your CV isn’t necessary but adding in this section enables the person reading your CV to imagine what you are like as a person. They can also relate your hobbies to necessary skills that are relevant to the job. For example, being a member of a competitive sports team, this shows brilliant team-building, hard work and leadership skills.

14:30: Filmed a video on my top tips for applying for an apprenticeship and the interview process which is featured on the Oxford University Apprenticeships social media pages. My top tips are…

  • Don’t apply for an apprenticeship just because… take you time to research and find an apprenticeship at a company you can imagine yourself working at and developing your skills.
  • When seeking an apprenticeship, take advantage of your network! Don’t be afraid to ask parents, carers, teachers, friends, employers, or colleagues for advice or if they have seen any opportunities available.
  • During the interview: Be confident! Come prepared! And have fun! Know what you would like to achieve from the apprenticeship and come to your interview prepared and ready to talk about this.
  • Don’t take the interview experience for granted! Even if you don’t get the role, you can use it as practise and learn from your mistakes.

View my hints and tips video. (Once on the link, click on the NAW2021 highlight).

13:30 – 15:00: Hosted a ‘Collaborative Virtual Apprenticeship Networking Session’ with Oxford University and Oxford University Hospital Apprentices. During this session, the apprentices introduced themselves, we played a little game of apprenticeship themed bingo, split the group into breakout rooms for some networking and finally Jo Allen hosted a short CV and Cover Letter session for the apprentices. 

"I just wanted to say a big thank you to everybody who took part in the Joint Networking Session we had on Wednesday the 10th of February. I was delighted to see so many familiar and new faces join this session. I hope everybody who attended enjoyed the session as much as we did and found it informative and fun! In future we hope to do more Joint Networking sessions together and welcome any ideas of what fun activities we could plan next!" - Freya Brimson, Apprentice Administrator, Oxford University Hospitals

Thursday 11th – Thank You Thursday

11:00: Wrote a card to say thank you to my team at SITU which has been displayed on the University ‘Kudoboard’.

17:30 – 18:30: ASK awareness session for parents and carers across Oxfordshire. My mum and I spoke at this session to give the parents and carers both an apprentice’s positive apprenticeship experiences as well as a positive parent perspective. Over 100 parents/carers attended the session! I really enjoyed being able to share my passion with all of those parents and inform them of what a fantastic opportunity apprenticeship are.

Friday 12th – Graduation Day

14:00: Filmed a video explaining how I have been able to gain the skills, experience and knowledge I need whilst working from home.

‘Work From Home: Apprentice Edition’ video Watch this along with other apprenticeship ambassador videos shared for NAW 2021.

Saturday 13th – Parents & Carers Day

12.00: Our ASK awareness session for parents and carers across Oxfordshire is now available on YouTube to re-watch.

ASK awareness parent and carers session. 

Sunday 14th – Show your love for apprenticeships!  

12.00: Contributed towards the University of Oxford Apprentices ‘Slido board’ to display on  a word cloud the best things that have come from my apprenticeship along with other apprentices. The top words shared were:

  • Confidence
  • Opportunities
  • Networking
  • Experience
  • Skills

‘The best things about my apprenticeship…’ word cloud.

What a brilliant and busy week it has been! And despite COVID-19, everyone still managed to spread an abundance of love and knowledge to different groups of people about apprenticeships. #NAW2021 #BuildTheFuture.