Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2024

8th February 2024

Each year Berkeley Green celebrates National Apprenticeship week to raise awareness of STEM and technical pathways. In organising activities with the support of our Employer Partners we work towards raising the aspirations of young people, giving them experiences of the workplace and interview process, and providing the opportunity to network with STEM professionals.

 

Employer Tuesday

On Tuesday, Gloucestershire Engineering Training visited our year 13 Engineers to run a workshop and to provide an opportunity to ask questions about what looks good on a CV, how to search and apply for apprenticeships, and to make yourself stand out as a candidate.
In teams, the year 13s competed to build a sturdy bridge out of card, ice-lolly sticks and sellotape. They were asked to factor in material costs, and to ensure that their bridge could support a rolling golf ball.

Year 13 Team 1 demonstrated amazing ingenuity by creating a structure that would allow gravity to roll the ball for them, and they certainly did not skimp on ‘material costs’ for structural integrity. However, they were ultimately betrayed by gravity when their bridge collapsed under the weight of 6 golf balls. They “spent” £20 on their design in total.

Year 13 Team 2 adopted a ‘tunnel design’ for their bridge securing the joints with ice-lolly sticks and supporting the overall structure with a wrap-around card. Their bridge supported a total of 12 golf balls for about 5 minutes before a gut-wrenching collapse. They “spent” only £6 on their design.

This task was crucially not about success in structure, however. Gloucestershire Engineering Training often run this task with apprentice candidates, and it is always about seeing who can work well in a team, listen to others, and not allow the stress of a situation to create conflict. The year 13s who took part in this task and contributed their ideas did fantastically, and it was a pleasure to see the professional young people that they have grown to be.

Mock Interview Wednesday
Wednesday saw the return of our annual Year 10 & Year 12 Mock Interviews! For 3 hours, year 10 were ‘off-timetable’ and completing rotational mock interviews, interview tasks, psychometric testing and Personal Development Training with the Royal Air Force. The aim of this day was to give them some insight into different interview practices and an idea of what to expect, should they begin their apprenticeship search in the next 2-4 years’ time.
Year 12 also took part in Mock interviews, presenting their professional CVs to employers and blowing them
away with their professionalism, knowledge and enthusiasm. It’s clear that you made the absolute most out of this experience and the UTC are extremely proud of how well you represented yourselves. Some of you even secured work experience from this exercise, and it’s evident that you asked brilliant questions and came very well prepared.
We’re immensely grateful to the members of the community and Employer Partners who supported us with this event. We really could not do this without you, and your volunteering hours have made all the difference.

Apprentice Thursday
Origin8tive returned to volunteer yet more of their time on Thursday morning and delivered an apprenticeship insight talk to all year groups. They then visited our digital classes and engaged in Q&A sessions, giving students the opportunity to ask questions about their daily routine, what makes an application stand out, and how to find opportunities through networking. Some of our students asked fantastic questions, and I will share the Origin8tive contact email with you in case you think of any more! Renishaw visited us at lunchtime on Thursday and set up a ‘pop-up stand’ in the Cyber Cafe. Well done to everyone who showed initiative in coming to speak to the company and to ask about work experience and apprenticeships. You made a fabulous impression, and it was especially remarked upon about how smartly you were dressed, and how confidently professional your introductions
were.