The Apprentice Experience

The Association of Apprentices (AoA) has partnered with ITN Business for a second year to produce a programme celebrating apprenticeships. Launching in National Apprenticeship Week 2023, ‘The Apprentice Experience‘ is a news-style digital programme exploring what role employers, government, training providers and organisations like AoA can play in supporting apprentices through to completion and beyond.

Watch the full programme here or scroll down to select an option.

In a hurry? View the highlights here! 

Why have the Association of Apprentices and ITN Business created this programme? 

Emily Austin and Sir Peter Estlin sat down with Simon Thomas to discuss how employers and government can provide the best experience for apprentices. 

The apprentice experience is at the core of our mission and this National Apprenticeship Week, we explore how our members are making the most of this career path. Featuring Jason Holt CBE, Vice Chair of AoA, members of the Apprentice Council and BT Group

Apprenticeships at City, University of London combine full-time paid work and part-time university study, so that apprentices can both enhance existing careers and build solid foundations for future careers, without the hefty price tag.   

With a gap for key skills in the retail industry, Marks and Spencer is making it their mission to equip new and existing apprentices with the right tools to develop and grow so they remain employable for now and tomorrow.  

Network Rail offer a large range of apprenticeships alongside engineering, such as finance, business and IT. Its many apprentices have a variety of roles but there’s also proof that an apprenticeship can be the first steps of a life-long career.  


Choosing the right study method can be a dilemma for many people, with many factors to consider. NOCN Group is working hard to build awareness and promote the positive value of education, apprenticeships and skills training to employers, learners, and parents.

Supporting people with learning challenges is critical to ensuring that a more inclusive workplace is created. Support Connect facilitate the best possible learning experience to help each apprentice succeed and thrive in life. 

Closing words from Simon Thomas.

Watch Apprentices: Connect, Engage, Inspire here.

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Jan Richardson-Wilde

CEO, Occupational Awards Limited

Jan is the CEO of Occupational Awards Limited, a Director of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink and an FE College Governor. She has over 35 years’ experience in the education sector in strategic and operational management of training programmes with colleges, private training providers, local authorities the voluntary sector and not for profit organisations. Jan has previously been a board member of the Learning and Skills Council, chair of the North Yorkshire Training Provider network and Vice-Chair of Yorkshire Coast College and a Governor of the Grimsby Institute for Further and Higher Education. She has extensive experience of education policy, apprenticeships, qualification, and curriculum development as well as business improvement.

Jan joined OAL in 2019, a leading non-profit industry-focused Awarding and End-Point Assessment Organisation, supporting a wide range of employers and of key stakeholders to succeed and surpass expectations. Jan is committed to continuous improvement and enthusiastic about improving the effectiveness, impact and quality of apprenticeships, education, and training in the UK and internationally. She has a wide range of experience of working in a collaborative context with employers and training providers to develop End Point Assessment, apprenticeships, and a wide range of vocational programmes.

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