This year saw National Apprenticeship Week celebrated a month earlier. Usually planned for March, it was moved to early February, with these year’s theme announced as #LookBeyond. During #NAW2020 we celebrated our apprentices and how perceptions of apprenticeships have improved. Mark Creighton, Avado CEO, told Personnel Today, “There has been a significant improvement in the perception of apprenticeships over the last three years. Not only this, a significant improvement in how they are operated by businesses and the level of quality education that apprentices are receiving.” There was a 29% rise in levy-funded higher-level apprenticeships, equivalent to university degrees and diplomas, suggesting that the opportunity provided by apprenticeships is diversifying, responding to opportunity for people to gain new roles within their businesses through re-skilling opportunities at higher levels of apprenticeship qualification. Creighton added: “While the levy was introduced to help equip young people with an opportunity to work and address the UK’s skills gap, which is an ever-growing problem, it is yet to be used to its full potential. There is certainly room for improvement, such as recruiting diverse candidates through apprenticeships.” Another big focus in the press this month were the myths that continue to surround apprenticeships. Sara Roberts, Avado’s Learning Delivery Director told Personnel Today that she is frustrated at the idea that apprenticeship programmes are only available in manual industries. “Today you can achieve an apprenticeship in every industry including media and fashion. In recent years, apprenticeships in creative industries have been on the rise and our research has witnessed the positive impact apprenticeships have on the diversity and culture in those workplaces.” Lastly, as part of national apprenticeship week, we also conducted research that concluded that UK parents and managers believe apprenticeships are the best routes to a good career. You can see our coverage and findings in Fe News, Education Technology and HR Grapevine.