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WhiteHat Apprenticeships supporting pupils to access apprenticeships Charlotte Abrahamson, Head of Community and Education Until recently, I was working as Head of Science at an inner London school. One thing that has always shocked me is how inconsistent careers education and guidance is for students: some schools have dedicated careers advisers and some schools don’t. However, what is clear in every school, is that all members of staff want to give their pupils information that will help them make the best decisions about their future. As teachers, you know your pupils well and, as subject specialists, you understand your industry best. Often this makes you well placed to give your students effective advice when it comes to making decisions about their future.

However, as a former teacher, I am also aware that many of us struggle with giving accurate or up to date advice about Apprenticeship opportunities. Whilst Apprenticeships may not suit all young people, they do provide an increasing part of the offer for young people at 16 and above. This article is an attempt to provide you with more information on apprenticeships and to offer you a personal perspective on the way they can be of benefit to many young people, particularly those with an interest or aptitude for technology. A few weeks ago, I started working at WhiteHat, a high-tech startup that is creating Apprenticeships for the digital age, deliberately targeted at high achieving individuals: our future leaders. WhiteHat works with companies ranging from Google to Net-a-Porter, SAGE to Foxtons, who are keen to recruit incredible, smart, ambitious talent across a range of digital marketing, accounting, IT and technology occupations. We recognize that many companies are frustrated with the traditional graduate routes and are keen to explore other avenues to inspire and recruit young people. Our aim is to develop a post16 education pathway that rivals the very best universities.

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Our particular focus is helping young people enter the ‘tech sector’. For many young people, this area is one full of opportunity – covering a wide range of new and emerging roles in data analytics, artificial intelligence, digital design and marketing, digital innovation, software development etc. As you know through your experience of teaching technology, this is an area that is changing at an exponential rate. New jobs are constantly being created, across a wide range of sectors, in response to technological developments. For those young people who enjoy designing with, developing and applying technology – there are many diverse and exciting careers to be consider.

Apprenticeships start off at Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) and now progress up to Level 6 (Degree level). Apprentices get paid whilst they learn and have to receive at least one day’s training a week (also paid). For many young people, it is a better way to learn: an opportunity to combine theory with practical, hands on experience. It also means that people can get a foot on the ladder with a company prepared to invest in them – and, of course, it means they don’t have to saddle themselves with an enormous graduate debt.

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More and more tech companies are getting on board to offer Apprenticeships too: from startups to big companies. These companies are keen to recruit and train young people and help them progress within their careers. With technology roles in particular, the hands-on experience can be invaluable, helping young people to develop the skills that industry needs, keeping up with new developments in a way that education can sometimes find hard to do.

We are keen to promote these and other opportunities to students with an interest in technology – do get in touch with us if you would like to hear more. Competition for Apprenticeship places is often high, and the role expectations quite demanding. We therefore expect all candidates to have a minimum of 5 A*-C GCSEs, including Maths and English. Those sitting the new GCSEs will need to attain at least a grade 4.

WhiteHat are especially excited to be working in partnership with Google UK, helping them to recruit and prepare candidates for their next cohort of Software Engineering apprentices.

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D&T teachers Publication  

WhiteHat Apprenticeships - supporting pupils to access apprenticeships. Article by Charlotte Abrahamson, Head of Community and Education.

D&T teachers Publication  

WhiteHat Apprenticeships - supporting pupils to access apprenticeships. Article by Charlotte Abrahamson, Head of Community and Education.

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