As part of National Apprenticeship Week, which will take place from 9th to 13th March 2015, the Skills Funding agency are encouraging businesses to share their pledges to take on apprentices using their online Pledge-o-meter.

The pledge-o-meter was launched in 2014, when 20,000 apprenticeships were pledged by UK businesses. Since then, the National Apprenticeship Service has been working alongside businesses to implement these apprenticeship places.

The Skills Funding Agency released the following statement:

“Throughout the year, the National Apprenticeship Service liaises with companies that want to take on apprentices, advising and supporting them – an approach that has had great success as since 2010 there have been 2 million apprenticeship starts.

“During National Apprenticeship Week, the media often used to focus on large employers who are able to take on a high number of apprentices as these make for interesting headlines. Whilst these are great stories, we developed the pledge-o-meter for NAW as it also gives smaller companies the opportunity to publicly make a statement of intent about taking on apprentices and get some recognition for doing so.

“The numbers also give an indicator to show how successful National Apprenticeship Week has been. In 2013 there were 14,000 vacancies announced during the Week with 20,000 apprenticeships pledged in 2014. These are clearly just a fraction of the 850,000 apprenticeships that were undertaken during 2013/14.”

The purpose of National Apprenticeship Week 2015 is to increase awareness and take-up of apprenticeships and traineeships in UK businesses. The theme of this year’s event is a challenge: to think about how much we really know about apprenticeships.

Test your knowledge of apprenticeships by taking the National Apprenticeship Week 2015 quiz, or make a pledge here.