Semta's Chief Executive Ann Watson shares her views on the latest news, policy, issues and events of interest to the engineering and advanced manufacturing sector. 


Wednesday, 27 June 2018 00:00

The Industry Apprentice Council survey - YOUR chance to have your say on apprenticeships!

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Guest blog by Hannah Naqwi, Industry Apprentice Council member

When it comes to apprenticeships, I and my fellow Industry Apprentice Council members firmly believe that the people whose views matter most are ours – the apprentices.

That’s why every year, the IAC surveys apprentices from engineering and related sectors. We collect apprentices’ views on the hot topics of the day, from end-point assessment to the use of qualifications, and we publish our findings in our annual report, along with recommended actions to make apprenticeships an even better and more attractive career route for young people to take.

Our 2018 annual surveys are now live - we’ve got one for apprentices, which you can find here, and for the first time there’s also one for their parents, which you can find here. As an incentive to get involved, one lucky apprentice will win £250 in vouchers just for completing the survey!

Image result for hannah naqwiBut there is still a very important reason to get involved and complete the surveys even for those who don’t win the prize. Our reports have previously been mentioned in debates in Parliament, and IAC members have spoken at events and sat on panels there too – so it’s clear that there is a strong appetite amongst those who make apprenticeships policy to listen to what we have to say.

That’s really welcome, but our annual reports are only as strong as the evidence we gather through our annual surveys – so I’m writing today to encourage every apprentice in engineering and related sectors to stand up, be counted and make your voice heard. We’ve set ourselves a target of 1,500 completions of the apprentice survey this year, because the more we get, the stronger the IAC annual report will be and the more attention policy makers will have to pay to its findings.

Getting involved will only take you a couple of minutes. We’ve deliberately created the survey to be quick to complete (it’ll only take you five minutes at most) and easy to understand – and it’s mobile enabled, so you can complete it anywhere!

We’ve canvassed the views of Members of Parliament, peers and people working in government to make sure this year’s survey really reflects what they want to know. That’s why this year we’ve included questions on the cost of living – transport costs, wage levels, benefits-related issues and more. And we’re once again asking apprentices about their experiences in school and college – because it’s important to know whether policy interventions are actually having a positive impact on things like careers advice.

Careers advice is such an important issue – IAC meetings never pass without someone mentioning it, and it comes up at every apprenticeships-related event IAC members attend as well. However, it’s not just about careers advisers in schools and colleges. Parents have such a big impact on the choices young people make, so this year, for the first time ever, we’ve also created a mini-survey which we’d like parents of apprentices to complete.

2018 is the Year of Engineering, and we are determined to do what we can to ensure that the momentum and positivity generated is carried into the future – so we want this year’s IAC annual report to be the best yet, and we want it to have the biggest impact possible so that the voice of apprentices is heard loudly and clearly in the corridors of power.

To do that, we need YOUR help. Please share the surveys on your social media feeds, encourage every apprentice you know (and their parents) to get involved – and help us to change how apprenticeships are perceived and run for the better.

You can read the 2017 IAC annual report here.

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