At around 8:30am on Tuesday 7th March, the staff at Workpays sat around a large table, listening to the subtle squeak of their office chairs, eagerly anticipating the moment that The Big Assembly finally opened its curtains to the public. With the aim to become the world’s largest careers and advice webinar, months of meetings and creative ideas had been leading to the start of National Apprenticeship Week. And with this, our very own attempt at a Guinness World Record.

Open to parents, teachers, students, employers and employees, our mission was to use The Big Assembly to bring knowledge and guidance about the options available to students after school is over, and what these alternative paths to university actually mean. With Liam Jackson presenting – a former business administration apprentice and current project manager at Workpays – live to the masses, technical difficulties were the only thing that could fail us now. And so, we commenced.

Prizes were won and short clips began playing, providing insight into the vast amount of industries available to do an apprenticeship in. Apprentices from the likes of Nottingham City Homes and Boots helped to explain the benefits of apprenticeships, with one individual even saying ‘just because an apprenticeship isn’t right for one person, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be right for you’. And, with so many options available, how right they are! Robert Halfon even provided his support during the webinar, taking a seat in front of the camera to explain why apprenticeships are a great option for anyone who wants to earn while they learn after school.

With questions streaming in through social media, queries were answered and students were informed. And because of this, we achieved something we never thought would be possible. Over 10,000 people tuned in to The Big Assembly, and we cannot thank everyone who helped this dream to become a reality enough! Thank you to all of the schools that took the time to log in and get their students involved, it’s because of you that students may now explore the apprenticeship route and succeed as a result.

Also, a huge thank you to everyone who got involved through social media, and to D2N2 for writing a fantastic column about the event. We hope that through your feedback, we are able to pursue an even bigger assembly next year.

Head to our Twitter (@Workpays) to read more about The Big Assembly as it happened, and let us know if you’d like to see The Big Assembly again during next year’s National Apprenticeship Week.

Finally, a huge warm welcome to our new Workpays team members. Ellen, Dawn and Tina – we are so excited for you to join our team and help us to continue keeping students, teachers, parents and employers informed on the endless benefits of the alternative study options available. Check out our Meet the Team page soon to get to know these three lovely ladies more. Apprenticeship, Study Programme or Traineeship; if you think that these could be the options for you, or you just want to find out more, visit now for all of the information you need.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next article…

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