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Navy is UK’s most successful major apprenticeship provider

31 March 2020
The Royal Navy has been recognised as the nation’s No.1 achiever when it comes to delivering apprenticeships.

Almost nine out of every ten sailors and Royal Marines achieve their goal of a qualification upon completing their training – far higher than the national average.

As a result, the Navy has been ranked first among large organisations – with 1,000 or more learners – delivering apprenticeships to the next generation.

With a success rate of 88 per cent – the national average is 64.7 per cent – over the 2018-19 academic year, the Royal Navy tops the National Achievement Rate Tables.

The tables, which ranked the Senior Service third in the previous academic year, provide the Education and Skills Funding Agency validated achievement data for every Apprenticeship provider.

“The news that the Royal Navy has the UK's best apprenticeship achievement rate of any large provider is fantastic recognition of the quality of our offer, the dedication of our personnel and, most importantly, the determination of our apprentices,” said Colonel Ade Morley Royal Marines, People and Training, Director of Training.

“A timely piece of good news, this is yet more evidence of how well our personnel are supported and should serve as a reminder that many of our apprentices today, as well as learning valuable skills, are employing those skills to support the nation during the COVID pandemic challenges.”

Apprenticeships are delivered across the Royal Navy and Royal Marines in all branches of the services.

Twenty-four-year-old Air Engineering Technician George Dean from Church Stretton in Shropshire is learning to maintain Merlin helicopters at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall.

Like his colleagues, he’s undergone ten weeks of training to learn the basics of being a sailor at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, then understood the fundamentals of air engineering at the Navy’s engineering school, HMS Sultan, in Gosport.

At Culdrose, he is learning the specifics of maintaining the submarine-hunting Merlins with training squadron 824 NAS.

They will each have already completed 10 weeks of basic training at HMS Raleigh at Torpoint and then 23 weeks at HMS Sultan at Portsmouth, before joining Culdrose’s 32-week engineering training programme.

“My role is to help repair the Merlin in the hangar and make sure the flight capability of 824 is at maximum readiness at all times, he said.

“There are so many jobs involved: component location, fault diagnosis, ground-runs, before-flight testing, after-flight testing – there are so many different parts that all come together to make a working aircraft.

“A lot of the time it comes down to one-on-one apprenticeship-style learning. Often you’ll get selected by a leading hand for a single big job, and you’ll spend all day on that job learning from him.

“In the navy, everyone wants to help you. If you are willing to put the effort in, no one will ever say ‘no’.”

All apprenticeships across industries align to the same framework to make sure apprentices in the UK are trained to the same level. In the Navy, a specialist apprenticeship team oversees the programme working side-by-side with provider Babcock Marine Training.

The news that the Royal Navy has the UK's best apprenticeship achievement rate of any large provider is fantastic recognition of the quality of our offer, the dedication of our personnel and, most importantly, the determination of our apprentices.

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