Programme expanded based on success of first year
Today United Learning welcomed its second cohort of apprentices who are participating in a two-day induction seminar at Salford City Academy.
Last year, United Learning became the first education group in the country to be awarded a contract by the government to deliver apprenticeships. Over half of the 22 apprentices who took part in the first year of the scheme have chosen to remain at their academy as permanent employees.
Based on the success of the first year, United Learning has increased the number of apprentices and has opened the programme up to more of its academies across the country. This year, there are 33 new apprentices who will be working in 12 of United Learning’s academies including Barnsley Academy, North Oxfordshire Academy and Accrington Academy.
This year, the apprentices can follow one of four programmes:
- Supporting teaching and learning schools (teaching assistants)
- IT, software, web and telecoms professionals (ICT technicians)
- Business and administration
- Sports development (sports leaders)
Whilst apprentices will spend the majority of their time working in schools to gain competency based qualifications, they will also be required to gain knowledge based qualifications which they will study at one of United Learning’s four training centres – Barnsley Academy, Salford City Academy, Accrington Academy and North Oxfordshire Academy.
Mandy Coalter, Director of People at United Learning, said:
‘We are thrilled to be welcoming our second cohort of apprentices. As a group of schools, we represent the perfect marriage of an employer and an educator and we are committed to providing our apprentices with a worthwhile and rewarding experience.
‘Our first year was a huge success which saw real benefits for both our schools and our apprentices. I am thrilled that 12 of our first cohort apprentices have decided to remain on the programme for a second year and that, based on last year’s experience, seven more academies have chosen to employ and train apprentices. Our apprentices make a valuable contribution to the running of our academies and feedback from our first year showed that apprentices had gained useful and important skills which will serve them well as they embark on their careers.’
Sophie Overton, who participated in the first year of the scheme as a Business and Administration Apprentice at North Oxfordshire Academy, said:
“The United Learning apprenticeship scheme has given me the opportunity to take the next step in education without having to go to university, as this was not for me. My knowledge in administration is now a lot more advanced than it was a year ago and the scheme has allowed me to learn and gain extra qualifications that can help me in the future and throughout my working career. I found the first year very interesting and I look forward to advancing into my second year of being a Level 3 apprentice.”
Luke Hannah, who participated in the first year of the scheme as an IT Apprentice at Accrington Academy, said:
“In my first year at United Learning in Accrington Academy I was a bit nervous. I came straight from college and had minimal work experience, especially at a school. However, I quickly got over this and was welcomed into the Accrington technician team immediately. I am now more confident and have learnt many new skills in IT and skills in a technician job role. I can’t wait for the next year.”