National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is a celebration of all those who are earning while they are learning. But it’s also a chance to celebrate all those who are using their knowledge to influence the apprenticeship landscape for future generations to come. That includes Dr Eunice Lumsden, Head of Early Years at the University of Northampton and Route Panel Member for the Institute’s Education and Childcare Route. In her blog, Eunice shares her thoughts around working together to help shape the future of the industry.
Opportunities for everyone
When people ask: “Why are you supporting the development of apprenticeships and technical education?” the answer is easy. People, whatever, their age, need the opportunity to access training and educational routes that meet their needs and allow them to flourish. Being able to bring my personal, professional and academic experiences to the Educational and Childcare Route Panel is a privilege. A word I do not use lightly. Why?
For me, education is transformative, it changes lives – that is if you can access it in the first place. For so many, their earliest experiences within their families, communities and in school present barriers, that can impact across their life course. Yet, I learnt early on in my social work career, that our childhood experiences shape us, but they do not have to define the people we become. I have worked alongside so many people whose stories have inspired and taught me that we all have skills, attributes and talents that can be harnessed in different ways.
The journey begins…
Careers across the education, health and social care sectors require people who can skillfully apply their knowledge in practice, regardless of their job role. That is why contemporary apprenticeships, especially higher-level apprenticeships, have such an important place in shaping different opportunities for learners. In education and childcare, this journey is just beginning, but it’s not going to be easy.
Arguably, there has never been such an important time as now, with the dawn of a new historical period for the UK, to make sure we are working collectively for a sustainable approach to meet the future needs of learners and employers.
Employers, Higher Education Institutions, training providers and learners must come together to shape the apprenticeships of the future. Collectively, we need to learn from the past and current practice and use this to embed new ways of working.