The government has been driving huge reform to improve the quality and opportunity of apprenticeships. We have seen major changes in the way apprenticeships are funded (through the Apprenticeship Levy) and how they work (moving to Standards driven by employers and end-point-assessment).
Employers all over England are redefining their training and recruitment strategies based on apprenticeships, developing world-class opportunities for existing and new staff.
Apprenticeships Programmes bring so many benefits:
- By utilising Apprenticeships for entry level roles through to senior management positions you can build a skills strategy for your business which will increase productivity and reduce recruitment costs.
- A long-term approach to training and development reduces the risks companies have from aging workforce and skills gaps.
- Loyalty – research has shown that BT’s five-year retention of employees who began as apprentices is 96%.
- Young Apprentices in particular bring with them a fresh perspective and insight that is unquestionably good for business.
- Social Mobility remains a big challenge for the UK, reports suggest that the gaps in inequality are widening. Apprenticeships can be a real driver for social mobility, allowing people to earn, learn and fulfill their potential.
Getting Started with an Apprenticeship Programme
If you have not yet begun to embrace the new world of apprenticeships then there is no better time. Understanding your current and future workforce needs is key, once you know where the gaps are you begin to identify where apprenticeships can add the most value. There are hundreds of Apprenticeship Standards from level 2 all the way through to degree level so you should be able to find the most relevant apprenticeship opportunities for your needs.
When developing a high-quality programme we would recommend bringing in partners, such as Youth Employment UK who can advise you on best practice and share with you examples of other excellent programmes. Many organisations are way ahead in terms of utilising apprenticeships and you can benefit from that learning. A high-quality programme should ensure that Apprentices are supported by key colleagues and have an excellent balance of off and on the job training. You will need to ensure you work with a provider who sees your vision for your programme and who can support with areas such as “off-the-job-training” and funding.
Think about staff of the future. Linking your work experience and early careers work to your apprenticeship strategy will ensure a Return on Investment for your business.
Already delivery an Apprenticeship Programme?
This is great news and we hope that it is proving to be an excellent investment for your business. Make sure you share your success during National Apprenticeship Week.
A next step for you might be to look at how you can showcase your own best practice or tweaking the programme so that it can become more inclusive, or maybe the next challenge is to be recognised as an employer brand of choice. Keeping ahead of policy reforms such as T-Levels, development of apprenticeship policy might also be something to have on the radar.
About Youth Employment UK
Youth Employment UK is a not-for-profit CIC, and is the leading membership body specialising in youth employment. We serve more than 15,000 young people who are 14-24 with free skills and careers support. In addition have over 350 employers, providers and youth organisation members who we support with best practice, policy development, training and networking opportunities so that they can support more young people into employment.
Youth Employment UK is home to the Talent Match Mark, a national kitemark that recognises youth friendly employers. If you are supporting young people with inspiration, experience or employment opportunities you could qualify for the free award.
Contact Youth Employment UK for more information – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.youthemployment.org.uk
Laura-Jane Rawlings is the CEO of Youth Employment UK