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Build the Future: National Apprenticeships Week 2021

For National Apprenticeships Week 2021, we are taking a look at how apprentices can help to "Build the Future" - giving learners opportunities for development, as well as having huge benefits for the employer.

12 February 2021

With insights from an assessor on our team, a colleague who started her career at Catch22 as an apprentice, learners from our apprenticeship programme with the AA, a look at the impact our apprentices have made at some of the employers we support – and a special surprise on Friday, there is lots to come over the course of the week. Stay tuned!

If you would like to find out more about our apprenticeship programmes, please check out our delivery guides, or get in touch with the team.


Monday: A day in the life of an apprenticeship assessor

Sandra recently joined Catch22 as a Trainer for Housing and Property services. This involves engaging, coaching and supporting learners who are new to the sector and upskilling those who need to qualify their experience.

In this video, she shows us what a day in her job might look like – from completing assessment meetings with learners, to ensuring she has a good work/life balance whilst working from home.


Tuesday: Working with Catch22: an employer’s perspective

In addition to supporting our learners with their progress and assessments, we work closely with the employers who have hired them to ensure that they have everything they need in order to get the best out of their apprentices with the hope that it leads to sustainable employment opportunities for our apprentices even after their course has finished.

For National Apprenticeships Week 2021, we spoke to HML Group, one of our employers to find out about their experience of working with the Catch22 Apprenticeships team.

Richard Scott, HML Group’s Head of HR said:

HML passionately believe that bringing people in from all different backgrounds and situations facilitates fresh ideas and solutions and presents a whole variety of business and societal benefits to our organisation. Investing in individuals who have had barriers to work strengthens our workforce by raising productivity and developing our long-term talent pipeline. As a Levy payer we refuse to accept that this is just be a ‘tax’ on our business, we see this as a cost-effective way to upskill our workforce, fill current and future skills gaps and support the progression of an individual’s career. It is good for our business, good for our people and good for our community.

We have worked with Catch22 on our Property Management apprenticeships and have been extremely pleased with the level of tuition and support that the provide to our learners. They certainly live up to their vision to be a supportive network of people around the individual learner!

This passion to upskill learners and to take on apprentices runs deep within HML Group. We asked them about the impact this has had for their organisation, and it is clear that supporting apprentices has not only benefited the learners, but the business too.

Statistics from HML Group:

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Wednesday: Our commitment to apprenticeships at Catch22

We don’t only believe that apprenticeships are right for the employers we support  – we think that they have the potential to be the right choice for anyone. That’s why we hire apprentices into our business here at Catch22, supporting through the completion of their course and beyond.

Why I chose an apprenticeship over going to university

Renata, who works in our Apprenticeships team, started off her career at Catch22 as an apprentice herself and is a true advocate for their benefits. Having now completed her programme, for National Apprenticeships Week, she looks at some of the factors that helped her make the decision to forego university.

Empowering staff internally to upskill through apprenticeships

This week, the first cohort of Catch22 staff officially begin our leadership and management apprenticeship programme. This programme will provide staff with the skills they need to grow as a manager, or to develop the skills they need to become a manager in the future.

If you are interested in working for Catch22, and benefiting from our learning and development offer (among other things), why not check out our current job vacancies? We have roles across all of our “hubs”, from Justice to Education, as well as within our corporate services and head office teams.


Thursday: Apprenticeships vs. university

There are many routes for young people to take when they finish school, including going to university, starting an apprenticeship, or getting a job. For some of our apprentices, they started their careers via one route, before deciding that continuing their learning alongside working would be better for them and their circumstances.

Two of our Customer Service apprentices, who work at The AA, told us about their experiences and the reasons behind their decisions to leave a university course to take up an apprenticeship.


Friday: Step22 launches to help hospitality sector recover

As the hospitality industry gears up to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic and braces itself for a shortfall in staff due to Brexit, Step22 is today introducing a new programme to provide specialist training for those wanting to enter the hospitality sector – and to support employers seeking to bolster their workforce.

Step22, which brings together social business and charity Catch22 and the UK’s foremost specialist coffee group Paced, is a recruitment and training solution that gets great people into great jobs in the hospitality sector. The programme is designed to be funded by the apprenticeship levy.

Latest figures show:

  • There are 800,000 young people out of work in the UK (up 5% in the last year).
  • 11.7% of all vacancies are in hospitality, the second highest sector.
  • The hospitality sector could face a total recruitment gap of over 1 million workers unless it is able to replace EU workers with British employees.
  • Less than a quarter (22%) of 16-21-year-olds in the UK say they would consider a career in hospitality.

Figures also show that as much as 90% of the apprenticeship levy is not spent by businesses, with many organisations not understanding what it can be used for. This means they miss out on fully-funded training for new and existing staff.

Working with like-minded employers such as Compass Group and Hej! Coffee, Step22’s Hospitality Team Member “Barista” Apprenticeships offers hospitality businesses the opportunity to develop their workforces in line with business need.

In collaboration with Compass Group’s RA Venues arm and Hej! Coffee,Step22will be offering up to 48 young people with an interest in hospitality a chance to join a traineeship programme, giving them the skills needed to flourish within a career in the coffee side of hospitality. All candidates will receive high-quality customer service training, English and maths teaching, and training in how to effectively apply for jobs, how to wow in an interview and succeed within employment.

In a new blog published today, Chris Stoker-Jones, Director of Vocational Training at Catch22, said:

We believe that successful apprenticeships are driven by strong employee and employer relationships. This starts with how we design our programmes to be bespoke to our partners; exploring what each employer requires and weaving their needs into the curriculum.

Step22 will draw upon the experience of Catch22 Apprenticeships, but will focus solely on the hospitality industry, and we are passionate about creating the best apprenticeships available in the sector. We are already working alongside industry experts such as Diageo to design the most engaging, relevant and impactful apprenticeship programmes available to employers.

Step22 is already working with a number of partners to grow their businesses and train staff, including Diageo, Mission Kitchen, Social Pantry and the London Progression Collaboration.

Find out more about how Step22 can support your business to recruit, train and develop your staff to be market leaders.