Last week Worcester MP Robin Walker met with a number of apprentices and organisations to celebrate the 13th National Apprenticeship Week with the aim of raising awareness of apprenticeships and apprentices.

This year, the theme ‘Look Beyond’ celebrates the diversity in apprenticeships today. Bringing the whole apprenticeship community together, the week celebrated the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy.

On Wednesday in the Houses of Parliament, Robin attended an event hosted by the Chartered Management Institution titled A Celebration of Better Managers. Afterwards, Robin met with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Group Training Association at a Parliamentary Reception. They are shortlisted as finalists in the prestigious national FE Week & AELP AAC Apprenticeship Awards.

In Worcester, last Friday afternoon Robin visited the Sanctuary Group HQ. Sanctuary’s award-winning national apprenticeship programme offers a wide variety of programmes, from level two up to degree level. It was established in 2008 and has since supported almost 2,000 people into work, both directly and through development partners.

Jessie Simms, Libby Harris and Sam Jones, who all work for Sanctuary Group, and took part in a question and answer session with Robin. Jessie, a carpentry apprentice, accountancy apprentice Libby and business administration apprentice Sam had the opportunity to talk about their different roles with the leading social housing and care provider. The group spoke about the impact their apprenticeships have had on preparing them for the world of work and asked Robin questions on subjects such as his career and politics. They were joined by Sanctuary Group Chief Executive Craig Moule for the session which marked the end of five days of events celebrating NAW.

Also, on Friday, Robin visited the Little Treasures nursery just outside Worcester and spoke with them about taking on apprentices and also met with current learners in the programme.

Speaking after National Apprenticeship Week, Robin commented:

“The Government’s National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the local economy. I warmly welcome all of the hard work of employers in welcoming apprentices and training a new generation of highly skilled workers in the local area.”

“I have long been an advocate in Parliament for increasing the quality as well as quantity of apprenticeships, supporting the Parliamentary 100 in 100 campaign spreading awareness of the opportunities that apprenticeships offer to both young people and businesses, as well as regularly meeting with local apprentices and employers in Westminster and Worcester.”

“It was wonderful to visit apprentices and organisations to recognise the vital role they play in our community and also hear first-hand from apprentices such as Jessie, Libby and Sam speak so passionately about the work they do.”

“Today’s apprentices are the workforce of tomorrow and it is so important that organisations across Worcester provide them with these fantastic opportunities.”

Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson said:

“This week is a time to celebrate all that is exceptional about apprentices and encourage employers, individuals, parents and individuals to find out more and embrace the opportunities that they offer.”

“This year the theme of the week Look Beyond highlights diversity in apprenticeships. From animal care and live events, to civil engineering and software development, as well as the value that they bring to the lives of individuals and employers alike

Assistant accountancy apprentice Libby said:

“It was a privilege to meet with Robin and speak to him about my role at Sanctuary. I have learned so much through my apprenticeship and feel that it has given me the foundations to build my career.”


Notes to editors 

For more information on National Apprenticeship Week 2020, please see:

For Robin’s previous statements on apprenticeships, please see: