National Apprenticeships Week 2021 | Build the Future

‘Build the Future’ is the theme for NAW2021, taking place this week (8 – 14 February) 2021. It aims to encourage everyone to consider how apprenticeships help individuals to build the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career.

The drive for a green recovery and green jobs has never been more important with the Government’s plan to “build back greener”.

The circular economy has the potential to add £2.9bn per year to UK GDP and could see the creation of 175,000 jobs. This supports the green recovery and will bring benefits to local communities and the planet.

Investment in green sustainable jobs will benefit both communities and future generations. At the heart of this is the Government’s Green Jobs Taskforce, announced in November 2020, which is expected to support the creation of 2 million green jobs by 2030.

Waste management firm Veolia recently announced that it has over 340 apprentices across the organisation and has seen a 115% increase of apprenticeship intakes since 2017, with 154 new starts and 117 completions in 2020.

Veolia retained 99% of these apprentices upon completion and 58% gained promotion or extra responsibilities as a result, it says.

It says demand for green jobs from younger generations is ‘rapidly increasing’ with an estimated 50% of people aged 18-34 eager to embark on a career that contributes to protecting the planet.

Using a £30 million training investment, around 1,300 apprenticeships have been completed at Veolia over the last five years.

New and exciting career paths

National Apprenticeships Week 2021 will showcase the impact apprenticeships can have on communities, local businesses and regional economies and how they all benefit from the impact of apprenticeships.

As a result of the pandemic and many individuals relying on technology and virtual meetings more than ever, National Apprenticeship Week 2021 will be different, but just as exciting. NAW2021 will celebrate the motivating stories of how apprentices have helped business adapt and build during a difficult year.

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn while you earn, opening up new and exciting career paths that can transform lives. It’s been a tough year for everyone, but we want the theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2021 to be a springboard to look ahead to how apprenticeships can futureproof workforces and boost careers.

There are currently around 7,000 apprenticeship opportunities available on the Find An Apprenticeship website which will benefit individuals, businesses and local communities

“The week is a great opportunity to highlight the huge range of apprenticeships on offer – from Space Engineer to Registered Nurse. There are currently around 7,000 apprenticeship opportunities available on the Find An Apprenticeship website which will benefit individuals, businesses and local communities. I encourage everyone to get involved and help make it a success.”

To support National Apprenticeship Week 2021, individuals, employers, training providers and communities are being encouraged to get involved, to celebrate apprenticeships and how they:

TRAIN apprentices, and future proof their workforce and careers though apprenticeships;

RETAIN apprentices, gaining the skills and knowledge needed by the business, and seeing apprentices thrive, whilst having impact;

ACHIEVE a real return on investment from apprentices; realising the business benefits of apprenticeships, with apprentices progressing in their chosen careers.

Peter Mucklow, Director, Apprenticeships, Education and Skills Funding Agency said: “The diversity of career options and industries available now, through apprenticeships, is outstanding. We want all current apprentices from all sectors to get behind the Week and to showcase the positive impact of apprenticeships, on careers, families and communities.”

How CIWM can help

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, CIWM wanted to highlight the many ways it can support you throughout your apprenticeship and help you kickstart your career. For example, did you know that apprentices are eligible to apply for FREE CIWM membership, which offers a range of invaluable benefits?

CIWM Student Member, Maisie Dickinson, said: “As an apprentice, I’ve learnt that your hard work should and will be appreciated.

“I’ve also learnt how to appreciate where I’ve come from and how to communicate with a range of people, how I fit into the workplace and to focus on the big picture.

“CIWM have supported me throughout my apprenticeship by offering webinars which I have taken part in, particularly through the pandemic, and have kept me updated with anything going on in the waste industry.

“CIWM also offer virtual training programmes, face to face training, e-learning courses and in-company training which I’m sure I will use at some point in the future.”


As a Student member of CIWM, you can meet and connect with other apprentices, students and professionals from across the resources and waste sector in our virtual community, CIWM Connect.

Circular and Circular Online

You can access the digital archives of Circular, our award-winning member-only magazine, and explore the latest articles, interviews, news and information from across the sector, all accessible online.

Exclusive content

With CIWM Student membership you can access a whole range of digital content to support your learning in the CIWM Knowledge Centre, including webinar recordings, blog posts, policy updates, podcasts and much more.


To support you with your ongoing learning and development, you can access exclusive discounts on CIWM training courses as a Student member, including on-demand e-learning and virtual training programmes.


As a student member of CIWM, you’ll get the latest news, updates and information from across the resources and waste sector sent directly to your inbox via our weekly member newsletter.

Apprenticeship and career toolkits

A toolkit is available now to support the apprenticeship community with planning their activity for National Apprenticeship Week 2021. Download the toolkit from GOV.UK.

CIWM Green Careers Toolkit – Download here.

Useful information:

Videos – Inspiring potential apprentices and employers to Fire It Up with apprenticeships.

Find out more about apprenticeships here

Information for employers and training providers:

Keep up to date with National Apprenticeship Week 2021 updates by following @Apprenticeships on Twitter, and National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn.

Use the hashtags #NAW2021 #BuildTheFuture in social media activity.

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