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Chief Education Officer: Why I Believe in Apprenticeships

For National Apprenticeship Week, our Chief Education Officer and Project Digital trainer, Ben Whitaker, reflected on his views on apprenticeships and how becoming a trainer for a programme like Project Digital have helped shape and change those views over time.

In my previous role as Head of Sixth Form, I often found myself in discussions with students about their future. I have to admit that I was ignorant and naive to the benefits to undertaking an Apprenticeship having followed a traditional route myself in completing A-Levels and then a university degree; in fact, much of my advice to others was centred on completing a UCAS application as the default because university is the right path most of the time. How wrong I proved to be!

When I considered joining Project Digital, I have to be honest in admitting that I wondered whether I could see the value in this kind of training. I did my research and took the plunge but still had some way to go in understanding the real impact that this model of education could have. I have been blown away by the real-life application of Apprenticeship courses and the standards which govern them. I have encountered amazing learners who are employed in a whole array of sectors who are bringing their learning to life. Not only that, I work with a brilliant range of employers who are committed to the ongoing professional development of their staff.

At Project Digital, we are pioneering a model of training which is delivered by industry, in industry at the majestic Landmark building at the heart of Burnley. I am now a true convert to the Apprenticeship model; indeed it is more often than not the advice I now give to young people who are exploring their options! Why wouldn’t you earn whilst you learn, gain relevant and applicable skills, and build experience and credibility in your chosen field? It’s a no-brainer for me and I love Apprenticeships.



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Wondering what it take to become a Project Digital apprentice? Read our blog on the traits of a successful apprentice here.