Tag Archive for: staff training

In our latest update we take a look at how you can make degree apprenticeships work for you.

1.Use your levy pot to train existing employees

Contrary to popular belief, apprenticeships aren’t just for new recruits at entry level. Older staff looking to upskill and progress are increasingly becoming interested in degree apprenticeships – and this is where the levy can help employers unlock the talent within their existing workforce.

The apprenticeship levy can be used to train existing employees as long as the training meets an approved apprenticeship standard or framework and the proposed employee meets the eligibility criteria for apprentices.

2.Use apprenticeships as a retention tool

An independent Government study found that 56% of employers said that apprentices stayed in the business longer than other recruits, creating lower overall recruitment costs as a result.

The same research also showed employers think apprenticeships build a higher level of commitment and loyalty than other employees. It’s believed that the positive impact apprenticeships have on employee retention results from a combination of the quality of the training provided and the ability apprentices have to learn and grow in the business from within.

3. Use degree apprenticeships to develop staff for higher roles

When the UK Government introduced degree apprenticeships in 2015, it created new routes to obtaining Level 6 and 7 qualifications – the same level as a full bachelor’s or master’s degree. This has enabled employers, for the first time, to be able to provide apprenticeship training at a higher level, progressing staff from junior roles to senior roles while in work.

By giving older staff the opportunity to be developed through degree apprenticeships, employers are able to re-train them for career progression or upskill them to meet the needs of evolving job roles. This is especially important with the need for older staff members to develop digital technology skills This helps employers unlock the hidden talents of their staff to create a higher performing workforce.

4. Use degree apprenticeships to address current and future skills gaps

Higher and degree apprenticeship standards (designed to raise and standardise the skill level and competency of a range of occupations) are helping businesses build a skills pipeline to fulfil future roles. Currently, there are 147 new standards approved for delivery but employers can look forward to as many as 1,600 by 2020.

As degree apprenticeships enable employers to gain valuable skills by developing staff via work-based training programmes, skills can be developed in highly-sought-after areas such as leadership and management and digital technology, and people can apply those skills to their role immediately. Building this pipeline of skills from within is a solid way to future-proof your organisation and ‘win’ the war on talent.

5. Helps to enhance your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes

Having a robust corporate social responsibility strategy not only provides an increased competitive advantage for businesses but is often now a necessity. Degree apprenticeships offer a prime opportunity to strengthen a business’s commitment to this agenda as they are an opportunity to improve social mobility with the potential to break down barriers and increase access to higher education for disadvantaged students, whilst also contributing to local growth and development.

According to official figure published in the last two weeks the new apprenticeship levy is yet to increase the number of people being trained, and employers’ groups has said that the government had failed to act on mounting concerns about changes to the apprenticeship system.

However, whilst a lot of the concerns raised are valid it might be worth employers taking a step back to think about how you can get the best out of your apprenticeship programme.

To help you we have put together 5 tips for running a successful apprenticeship programme:

1. Set the tone at the top – the senior team needs to believe in it or else there is small chance of success. Similarly the organisation as a whole needs to buy in and accept that apprentices are an integral and valuable part of the business.

2. Get your recruitment right – It is essential that anyone involved in apprentice selection understands the apprenticeship scheme, knows the type of candidate and the qualities and competencies they are looking for, uses clear job descriptions to make good objective hires.

3. Get a strong training framework – Once you have recruited the apprentice the next important consideration is who and how they will receive the training to support the Apprenticeship. Remember, employers who pay the levy have the power to ensure that they receive the right service from the training provider (private, college or university) that they choose to provide the delivery of the education and learning part of the apprenticeship programme. Strong liaison between the employer and the training provider is absolutely critical.

4. Give apprenticeships opportunity – there is nothing worse for an apprentice to feel that they are just a number, or worse an inconvenience. Like all of us they need to feel valued and encouraged to develop their skills and use their training within the apprenticeship programme

5. Create a strong support system – This is of vital importance both for the organisation and the apprentice. Providing the right practical support and guidance to an apprentice will help ensure they settle in well, develop with your organisation and help contribute to the success of your business. Practical elements of support should include:

  • giving apprentices a clear outline of expectations and a safe supportive environment to learn and develop
  • encouraging them from the start to own and drive their programme targets and to seek regular feedback to self-assess their performance
  • up-skilling and developing line managers so they can coach their apprentice and act as a role model
  • putting a workplace learning mentor in place to further enhance the experience, adding and creating a proactive environment that builds on their eagerness, motivation and commitment.

In summary the above tips are some of the key considerations that employers should take into account when they are looking to develop apprenticeships that will deliver long term value for the business.

For more information contact The Leadership Team today.