Apprentice 121, a scheme started by Mark Allison of Power Sonic Ltd to get young people into apprenticeships, has earned the support of NAPIT.
The scheme provides a support system to help apprentices that have lost work placements due to the impact of COVID-19, with the aim of helping electrical apprentices’ complete qualifications with opportunities for site-based work to demonstrate their skills as part of the NVQ training program.
NAPIT’s support of the scheme is coupled with the industry body’s backing of the UK Government’s £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, which aims to create jobs for young people aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. That scheme will have the Government cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
What does Apprentice 121 entail?
Allison set up the Apprentice 121 website to create a community of employers and people within the electrical industry who could help provide apprentices with placements. Apprentices can register their details on the site for free and then be allocated to suitable employers and trainers who can help.
He noted, “I set up Apprentice 121 with the intention of becoming a collective industry effort involving companies and people who want to help. I did this for free and without any expectation of reward. I noticed that since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, apprentices were struggling to get qualified and ultimately find work. Apprentice 121 can help apprentices qualify and build a career, and employers can sign up to grow the support system and help the next generation of industry professionals.”
Mike Andrews, NAPIT group CEO, added, “Now is a tough time for many in our industry, and when we noticed the great work Mark had initiated to help apprentices, we offered to support the Apprentice 121 website by getting the message out to our members and the wider industry. Now the lockdown restrictions have been lifted it’s vital we as an industry support the next generation in qualifying, working to the highest standards and finding future work opportunities.”
What can the electrical industry do to support Apprentice 121?
While NAPIT has thrown its weight behind the scheme, Apprentice 121 is still in need of site-based opportunities for apprentices to complete assessments. That’s why it’s calling on firms to register on its website.
Of course, firms that do register should also be able to take advantage of the Government’s Kickstart Scheme, which will help fund the apprenticeships and give young people access to the workplace.