This National Apprenticeship Week, we’re talking to the Harlequins Foundation and Jack, one of their apprentices to tell us about their experiences.
What is the Harlequins Foundation?
The Harlequins Foundation is the charitable arm of the Harlequins Rugby Club. We envision a world where the power of sport is used to drive positive change. Our community is at the heart of everything we do. Our focus is on inspirational, sustainable and transformative solutions that tackle inequality, poor health and the challenges facing the most vulnerable in society using education and skills development.
How is the Harlequins Foundation embedding the Skills Builder approach into apprenticeships and outreach?
Harlequins: Two in five employers reported that they are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with wider characters, behaviours, and skills when recruiting school or college leavers (Pearson/CBI, 2019).
Here at the Harlequins Foundation, we believe the 8 essential skills are fundamental to the development of young people who are ready for work. We are determined to provide those on our Apprenticeship programme the opportunity to develop the skills needed, while also providing a platform for them to evidence their growth.
What are some highlights from doing an apprenticeship with the Harlequins Foundation?
Jack, Harlequins Apprentice: One highlight would be helping out the team officiating at one of their rugby festivals. I enjoyed learning all about the rules of tag rugby. The team at The Foundation are also very welcoming which makes it a great place to study.
Which of the 8 essential skills have you developed during your apprenticeship and how?
Jack, Harlequins Apprentice: Through my time on the apprenticeship I have worked on my leadership skills. More specifically step 9, my ability to recognise other people's strengths and weaknesses and then using this to allocate roles accordingly. PE and sport is my specialist subject, however, not all teachers can lead the lessons. I am able to use my leadership skills in order to delegate jobs to the teachers during my lessons.
What does your next chapter look like?
Jack, Harlequins Apprentice: I want to continue at the SEN School I am currently working at and develop my understanding of the children’s needs and how I can help them. I want to make my lessons enjoyable for the children.
What’s the best piece of skills/work advice you’ve ever been given?
Jack, Harlequins Apprentice: Work hard in silence, let your success be noise. You can take that piece of advice in anything you do in life.
If someone was thinking of applying to the apprenticeship, what would you say to them?
Jack, Harlequins Apprentice: It is a great opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience, whilst developing your skills.
What do you believe needs to change in education/work/community outreach today?
We passionately believe that employers should be looking at employees, whether current or prospective, through a different lens than appears to be the norm.We are more interested in the skillset that a person has developed, which enables them to apply any job-related technical skills or translate their academic achievements into the workplace more effectively.That’s not to say knowledge, experience and skill in a particular area isn’t important, but rather that a more holistic approach to looking at whether a candidate could thrive and succeed in a job because of the skills they possess could be a better measure for future success – for both parties.