iCan careers event 2023

This week I attended the iCan event to promote technical and business apprenticeships. Once again this event was well attended and I met many young people who are considering apprenticeship programmes.

The Kings Centre, Eastbourne

The Careers Hub aim to provide young people, and parents and carers of young people with special educational needs and/or additional needs with the opportunity to gain the relevant information regarding progressing into the next best phase of education, training or employment.

At iCan, young people, and parents and carers will have the opportunity to meet education and training providers that offer a variety of possible pathways, employers with current or future live vacancies, and apprenticeship providers. There will be employers with live vacancies and you will have the opportunity to take part in a pre-interview, mock interview or work/skills discussion with an employer. If you have a CV, Vocational Profile or Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP), we recommend bringing a copy with you to the event to show prospective employers, and education and training providers.

Support and Networking services from across East Sussex will also be in attendance to help answer the questions you may have regarding next steps after formal education.

Setting up our stands for the show. Jo from Focus SB (a SIGTA member company) was on the next stand promoting apprenticeships. It’s great to see companies waving the flag for engineering at these events.

A new careers event

Tomorrow we will be promoting apprenticeships at The Littlehampton Academy Careers Market. This is a new one for us and we are really looking forward to setting up stand and talking about the great apprenticeships that we offer. This year we have placed three apprentices working as Business Administrators with Littlehampton Town Council along with technical apprentices with companies in the area.

The last stand

Something is changing… Going back a few years when I attended careers events there was a lack of interest in technical apprenticeships. Other stands would be busy while we were struggling to attract people who were interested.

This week I have attended two careers evenings – Bohunt School in Worthing and Burgess Hill Academy. At each event (and many others of late) I was still speaking to visitors on our stand long after other training providers, colleges etc had packed up their stands and left. Both the events this week were really busy for us. Last week at Downlands Community School in Hassocks I had the same experience. I was busy non-stop long after other organisations had left. At some points this week I was speaking to three groups of students and parents at once with others were waiting to get onto our stand. OK by the end of the week my voice is shot – but worth it.

See the pic of the last stand standing 🙂

More applicants than available apprenticeships?

It has not really been our experience as apprentice recruitment in the South East is still a challenge with the majority of students still planning to go to university.

Having said that, our number of applicants has increased but this is mostly due to our improved marketing of vacancies – making a video for every vacancy, increasing the number of careers events that we attend (4 evenings this week), preparing a monthly newsletter for schools and much more.

We filled our very last summer apprenticeship vacancy just last week and are now promoting apprenticeships that can start any time of year.

They are: Business Administration, Engineering Fitter (electrical or mechanical), Technical Design (CAD), Maintenance Technician and Healthcare Technician for hospitals.

Click the link:


Careers events – so far and up and coming

We have attended three careers events in the last few days. Durrington High School in Worthing, Seaford Head School and Chailey School. All busy events with plenty of interest in our apprenticeships from students in years 10 and 11.

Next up – this week we are attending careers evenings at Downlands Community School in Hassocks, St Catherine’s in Eastbourne, St Andrews in Worthing and Warden Park Academy in Cuckfield. Busy week!

Shout out to the SIGTA members employing apprentices this year.

Huge thanks to all of these companies employing (mostly) young people this year and of course, appreciation to all of the SIGTA members who have apprentices in place from previous years.

We are still advertising and interviewing right now so there will be additions to this list coming soon.

Why choose an apprenticeship?

woman in black shirt wearing protective goggles holding black and green screw driver

Becoming an apprentice can offer several benefits and opportunities that make it an attractive choice for many individuals. Here are some reasons why someone might choose to become an apprentice:

  1. Hands-On Learning: Apprenticeships provide practical, hands-on experience in a specific trade, profession, or industry. This type of learning can be more engaging and effective than traditional classroom education for many people.
  2. Skill Development: Apprenticeships focus on developing specific skills and competencies related to a particular job or field. This practical training can lead to mastery of the skills required for the chosen profession.
  3. Earn While You Learn: One of the most appealing aspects of apprenticeships is that you can earn a good wage while you’re training. This allows you to support yourself financially while gaining valuable experience.
  4. Job Opportunities: Completing an apprenticeship can increase your employability and job prospects. Many employers highly value real-world experience, and having completed an apprenticeship can set you apart from other candidates.
  5. Industry Connections: During your apprenticeship, you’ll have the opportunity to build a network of contacts within your chosen industry. These connections can be invaluable for future job opportunities, collaborations, and mentorship.
  6. Practical Application: Apprenticeships focus on applying theoretical knowledge to real-world situations. This practical application helps bridge the gap between academic learning and actual job requirements.
  7. Career Progression: Many apprenticeships lead to long-term employment with the company or organization where you trained. Some apprentices even progress to leadership positions within their field.
  8. Personal Growth: Apprenticeships often come with challenges and responsibilities that encourage personal growth and development. You’ll learn problem-solving, time management, and communication skills that are transferable to various areas of life.
  9. Supportive Environment: Apprenticeships usually involve working closely with experienced mentors or professionals who can guide you, offer feedback, and help you grow in your chosen field.
  10. Multiple Fields: SIGTA apprenticeships are available in a wide range of fields, from Technical CAD to Electrical/Electronic Engineering to Engineering Fitting to Business Administration and more. This means you can find an apprenticeship that aligns with your interests and goals.
  11. Qualifications: Our apprenticeships lead to formal qualifications, certifications, or licenses that are recognized within the industry. These credentials can enhance your credibility and career prospects.
  12. Path to Entrepreneurship: For those interested in starting their own businesses, an apprenticeship can provide the skills and knowledge needed to become a successful entrepreneur in a specific industry.

It’s important to note that while apprenticeships offer numerous benefits, they also require commitment and hard work. The specific advantages you’ll gain from becoming an apprentice will depend on the field you choose, the program’s structure, and your own dedication to learning and growth.