It is clear that the impact of the Coronavirus has created extraordinary demands and pressures on the economy. The way the Government, businesses and educators respond to this outbreak is being carefully watched and will make waves in the history books. However, this uncertainty has left many businesses pressured to make job cuts and it is without a doubt that apprenticeships will be caught up in this.
Many apprentices are starting their first ever jobs, tend to have short-term employment, and are more likely to be at risk than those in secure, permanent positions. We have a fantastic apprenticeship system that has been growing from strength-to-strength. Both businesses and educators need certainty and funding from the Government to ensure this does not collapse.
We need to take swift action to ensure that apprentices can not only continue their training but feel secure in their work. This includes introducing measures to ensure greater flexibility for the time an apprenticeship should be completed, moving training online where possible, and incentivising businesses to retain apprenticeships.
However, action to address this does not solely rest with the Government. Businesses and educators have a responsibility of pastoral care to support and guide their apprentices throughout these difficult times. This will be crucial for helping our future workforce.
We cannot risk impacting young people’s careers and their work confidence.
A silver lining to the situation is that this pandemic has demonstrated how we can work together. We have seen greater political party collaboration, businesses, educators and communities uniting to support one another. Let’s not lose sight of what is important and help our apprentices.
We can make this crisis work for apprenticeships, but we must act now.
If you are an apprentice, please follow these five top tips in dealing with the Coronavirus crisis
1. Remain in constant contact with your manager, whenever you’re WFH. Check in regularly, and let them know what you’re working on and when they can expect things
2. Pitch in across other elements of the business if you can. Maybe help with any business development projects or social media content. It’s a good time to focus on social media, as it’s being consumed a lot more now people are home
3. Remember to dedicate time for your apprenticeship assignments. It can be tempting to spend free time binging Netflix, but use the extra time to your advantage and get ahead
4. Remain positive and calm. This uncertainty won’t last forever. If you’re worried about anything, speak to friends, family or colleagues
5. If your client’s industry is taking a hit, offer creative suggestions or pitches for business ideas for your other clients in other industries. Come up with strategies or proposals or plan for your affected client’s future