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As part of National Apprenticeship Week (3rd - 9th February), yesterday our apprentices took part in a Twitter chat about their experience of apprenticeships so far.

Today, it was the turn of employers to take to social media to answer questions from people all over the UK.

Our Learning and Development Manager Samantha Warner and HR Business Partner Danny Kavanagh took part in #AskAnEmployer, a Twitter chat organised by the National Apprenticeship Service.

The event was held to give people who are interested in apprenticeships - businesses and current or potential apprentices - the chance to ask questions to employers who currently offer apprenticeship opportunities.

Below are some of Samantha and Danny's answers.

#AskAnEmployer

CNTW Apprentices (@CNTWapprentices) - see tweet

Question: A question we are often asked 'will I be supported in the workplace' and the answer is any good training provider and employer would see this as essential.

Sam and Danny's answer: We give our apprentices lots of support. Each has a supervisor who guides them through the programme, and the apprenticeship providers organise regular catch ups. There are also other apprentices further into the programme who are on hand to guide and mentor new apprentices.


Brooklands College (@FEBrooklands) - see tweet

Question: Hello, our students are interested to know: what are the key benefits of an apprenticeship compared to a standard academic route?

Sam and Danny's answer: You are getting paid to learn, rather than paying to learn. You're also gaining experience of work, which could give you the edge over someone in full-time education.

Being in a workplace is a benefit as you get feedback on how you're doing, and there may be the opportunity to branch out into another role there as you gain experience and find your niche.


Northumberland County Council (@N_landCouncil) - see tweet

Question: How do your businesses maintain the momentum of getting new people in and helping them progress?

Sam and Danny's answer: Success breeds further success, so the achievements and successes of our current apprentices creates a visible pathway which others can follow.

We began by offering apprenticeships a year ago to existing members of our team, and have recently expanded numbers by hiring externally for apprentices for the first time.

We're also planning on broadening the apprenticeship programmes we offer soon, to create a range of opportunities in different career paths.


ECS Computers Ltd (@ECSComputers) - see tweet

Question: Why should employers consider hiring apprentices?

Sam and Danny's answer: Offering apprenticeships has been great for us, as it's inspired our apprentices to learn new skills, and some have been promoted during the course of their studies.

People taking on an apprenticeship are making a commitment to learn and it shows ambition, which we welcome in our team.


RIBA (@RIBA) - see tweet

Question: What do you look for in an apprentice?

Sam and Danny's answer: A willingness to learn is essential. We look for recruits who are a good match with our company values: curious, unified, driven, passionate. We are a customer-focused legal services company, so a recognition of the importance of customer relations is a real bonus.

To see more of the chat, search #AskAnEmployer on Twitter. To find out more about careers with us, visit our Careers page.

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