National Apprenticeship Week 2019 took place from 4th – 8th March, with the Government’s new ‘Fire It Up’ campaign at the forefront. The theme for the 12th Annual National Apprenticeship Week was “Blaze a Trail” with training providers, Colleges, employers and other institutions celebrating and showcasing how Apprenticeships bring new energy into businesses.

IPS celebrated this year’s National Apprenticeship Week 2019 with radio appearances, advice sessions and visiting a range of local and National events, celebrating Apprentice successes.

Radio Appearances

We started the week with a radio appearance on Business Bunker Radio on the 5th March. Like the previous year, IPS Managing Director Ramsay Cowan was a special guest with Paul Andrews and Jules Serkin and there was a great discussion on how more students than ever are discovering Apprenticeships, there are more opportunities than just studying at university and coming out with big student loans in comparison to earning while learning with an Apprenticeship. Also mentioned was the fabulous Apprenticeship Graduation Event that will be happening in October at Rochester Cathedral to celebrate the success of Apprentices in Medway organised by FSB, KATO and Medway Council which IPS look forward to taking part in.

Listen now to find out about the accreditation system, the new Standard Apprenticeships IPS deliver, information regarding funding for employers and how you can recruit. Advice for candidates on the process of applying for jobs to become an apprentice.

Check out the link here to listen back to the show:



Dan Baker Pfizer apprentice meeting Helen Grant MP

Guest speakers on Business Bunker Radio, Tracey from Travol International and our very own Ramsay Cowan.

IPS Engineering Workshop Tour and Information, Advice and Guidance Session

On the 7th March IPS invited students from Strood Academy to IPS Northbank House to learn more about Apprenticeships, learning about the range of exciting Apprenticeship opportunities available to them after post 16 and how training is delivered.

First they had a tour of the IPS Workshop, from Mechanical, Electrical Engineering to Welding and Motor Vehicles, the students got the chance to see the different machinery and speak to Trainers and their classes to see some of the work and projects that would go into an Apprenticeship.

After their tour, Students were given an information session on the benefits Apprenticeships by the Business Development Team. Students were shown how to use the National Apprenticeship Service website, how to sign up and find an Apprenticeship, given guidance on Apprenticeships and what kind of Apprenticeships are out there in a wide range of sectors plus a demonstration of what apprenticeships are on the NAS portal.

Max Brookwell Southeastern Apprentice BTEC Awards

Strood Academy students on the IPS Engineering Workshop Tour at Northbank House.

The group was split into teams of 3 and 4, to then take part in the National Apprenticeship Service interactive activity that was put together for National Apprenticeship Week, to find out how Apprenticeships compare to University. The group went through the questions together with the help of their teachers and the IPS Business Development Team and spoke in detail about whether you can move away from home in an Apprenticeship, make new friends, gain a degree, a wage, etc. The different groups then came back together to go through the answers and the students were pleasantly surprised to find out with an Apprenticeship, you will be working for a real company, doing a real job, whilst earning an actual wage, without the big debts of University and with a higher Apprenticeship, you could even qualify at a degree level. It was discussed that you can join an Apprenticeship at any time, you can go to sixth form first or even University and come back to an Apprenticeship to get into work and gain a qualification at the same time. It was also mentioned how an Apprenticeship gives you life skills, IPS Recruitment Advisor, Alix mentioned, from his own experience an Apprenticeship gave him confidence, skills on body language and how to act in a professional setting.

“From my own experience, I can confidently say that an Apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge within a professional working environment, earn a salary whilst learning and gain a nationally recognised qualification, with the potential of getting a permanent position in the company, once the programme is complete.”


Alix Taylor Completed recruitment apprentice, Helen Grant MP and IPS Director Don

 Strood Academy  student in their Apprenticeship Guidance session completing the comparison activity in groups.

The students also got the chance to speak to three 1st Year Apprentices, who’s training is being delivered at IPS from Employer, South Eastern Railway, who kindly offered to take time out of their training day, to come in and give their own words on their Apprenticeship experience so far and how they got to this stage, how Apprenticeships work and the benefits of the flexible training. IPS would like to thank Simrat Talwar, Christopher Ray and Megan King on their engaging speeches, which allowed the students to hear life experiences on how an Apprenticeship could work for you and be a different alternative and amazing opportunity. It was a great contrast to hear from Christopher, who at 26 years old decided to take an Apprenticeship in Engineering as a new career path after working as a Bus Driver for 5 years, in comparison to Megan, who had wanted to pursue a career within the Army, but because of a damaged knee, found Engineering Apprenticeships and Simrat who was always interested in this option.

At the end of the session and the Q&A, the students were given an IPS pack, with information and guidance on Apprenticeships, a guide on how to become an Apprentice, top tips to become job ready and a parent’s guide to Apprenticeships, that they could take home to discuss with their parents.

Louisa Felstead the Engagement Development Manager for the Leigh Academies Trust who was in attendance said;

“Sincere thanks to IPS International for such an informative visit for our Strood Academy students which allowed them to understand better the benefits of undertaking an Apprenticeship.

Equally, from a Trust perspective, it was satisfying to see a former Trust student at her studies with IPS and see how well she is faring.”

IPS would like to thank Strood Academy for bringing students along to IPS and for giving the students the opportunity to learn what is out there and what they can do after finishing school.

Thank you to South Eastern Railway Apprentices, Megan, Simrat & Christopher for giving a great talk to the Strood Academy Students on how their Apprenticeship experience is going, how it works & the delivery.

Other Celebrations

IPS have a good partnership relationship with Medway Council delivering some Apprenticeship training there and we were kindly invited to the Medway Council Apprenticeship Celebration Event on the 7th March. A few of the IPS Business Skills team attended and got to celebrate in the success of Apprentices and their progression and watch them pick up their certificates and to find out about their progress. Kier, IPS Business Skills Manager said of the event;

“The event was very inspiring and included previous Apprentices within the council that have worked their way through various Apprenticeships with strong support. Seeing how these Apprentices have progressed to different roles gave others the opportunity to see just how successful an Apprenticeship can be. As a Trainer, it certainly reminds us why we do what we do and how we can be a part of their success!”

Also in the evening of the 7th, IPS were delighted to be invited to the attend the Clarion Futures Apprenticeship Awards and celebrate the Apprentices and their inspiring experiences. The ethos and enthusiasm of Clarion Apprentices was something which touched many people at the event. Real life struggles of Clarion housing communities were showcased, the overall winner of the Apprenticeship Awards Sophie, a Project Manager at Engie UK, thoroughly deserved to win. The attendees were passionate people, passionate about Apprenticeships both learners and employers, this event like others IPS took part in was a true testament of the benefits and life changing opportunities Apprenticeships bring.

Lastly, the 8th March, the Kent Association of Training Organisations (KATO) organised a round table debate with Tunbridge Wells MP, Greg Clarke and Kent Apprentices to share their Apprenticeship experiences and discuss their stories. IPS were proud that IPS Apprentice Liam Elliot from Employer Joseph McCarthy was in attendance.

The Kent Apprentices with Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clarke at the round table event. Liam Elliott, IPS Apprentice with Employer Joseph McCarthy last row third from right.

Do you need guidance for Apprenticeships? Talk to a member of our team today...