The annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW2021) is upon us, 8-14th February, and with it, comes a great opportunity to celebrate ‘all things apprenticeships’. Apprenticeships allow individuals to earn while they learn and can lead to new and exciting prospects that transform lives and boost careers.

The year 2020 brought many challenges to the business world, and NAW2021 will mark this, by showcasing the resilience of both apprentices and employers during the pandemic. It will celebrate the motivating stories of how apprentices have helped businesses adapt and build during such a difficult year – and how they are looking to a brighter future.

The theme for this year is “Build the Future: Train, Retain and Achieve” and the organiser, the ESFA, is encouraging employers and individuals to consider not only how apprenticeships can help develop the skills and knowledge needed for a rewarding career, but how they can also help employers build a workforce with ‘future-ready’ and lifelong skills.

Individuals, employers, training providers and communities are being encouraged to get involved, to celebrate apprenticeships and how they:

TRAIN apprentices, and future proof their workforce and careers though apprenticeships.

RETAIN apprentices, gaining the skills and knowledge needed by the business, and seeing apprentices thrive, whilst having impact.

ACHIEVE a real return on investment from apprentices, realising the business benefits of apprenticeships, with apprentices progressing in their chosen careers.


There are lots of different ways to get involved throughout the week and the NAW2021 supporter guide and toolkit has some great ideas. Here are a few to get you started:

Employers: spread the word!

  • When talking to other nursery managers that you may know, encourage them to consider how training apprentices can help build their business for years to come. Speak about the return on investment you are already seeing and how investing in your workforce helps you keep your great staff.
  • Use the #AskAnEmployer hashtag from 12 noon – 2pm on Tuesday 9th February and encourage your followers to ask questions about how apprentices have helped you in your childcare business.

Apprentices: get involved, inspire others and get discounts!

  • In your team meetings at work, why not discuss the impact of your apprenticeship training and how it is helping you achieve your career goals?
  • Join the Young Apprentice Ambassador Network (YAAN), a national network of current and past apprentices who want to share their apprenticeship story to inspire others – you can help shape the future of apprenticeships!
  • Use the #AskAnApprentice hashtag on Twitter from 12 noon – 2pm on Wednesday 10th February and encourage aspiring apprentices, their parents, and employers to ask you questions about your apprenticeship. Look out for posts on @Apprenticeships, as apprentices will be taking over the channel!

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages during National Apprenticeship Week. We will be featuring some stories from our wonderful Parenta apprentices! You can upload your own stories – use the hashtags #NAW2021 #BuildTheFuture to make sure they get seen by as many people as possible!

Parenta is the UK’s largest vocational training provider within the early years sector, offering apprenticeships at all levels. We train nearly 3,000 nursery staff every year, helping them successfully complete their childcare apprenticeship training. With 20 years’ experience in the industry, we work in partnership with thousands of settings, supporting them with upskilling their existing staff, as well as recruiting new apprentices.

Ask us about our free recruitment service and for advice to help you invest in tomorrow’s generation of childcarers. Our experienced team will be able to advise you on ‘all things apprenticeships’ – from legislation changes to funding, contribution, minimum wage and off-the-job training. To find out more about how we work together with settings and help them with their apprenticeship solutions, call our team on 0800 002 9242 or email recruiter@parenta.com.

Don’t forget!

The government incentive scheme for recruiting apprentices has been extended to 31st March! More details here.

Useful resources:

Official information from the government website
Download the NAW2021 toolkit here
Download the supporter guide here
National Living Wage in April 2021

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