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The corporate message: Apprenticeships

City of London

Many businesses have a long history of training and developing staff both internally and with external training providers, including sponsorship to gain a relevant qualification. The application and impact of that new knowledge in the workplace was assumed to occur but rarely assessed formally.

An Apprenticeship is more explicit about the use of learning. The gained knowledge is coupled with appropriate skills and behaviours and must be reflected and applied within the workplace throughout the Apprenticeship journey. In many higher level Apprenticeships, a professional reflective discussion, to determine individual competency in applying the knowledge, also forms part of the end-point assessment. The concept of putting learning into practise is a well proven one, and needless to say, there are huge productivity benefits for businesses that run internal Apprenticeship programmes.

The value a company places on training is not likely to have changed because of Apprenticeship reform.  However, the levy has aggregated and focused learning and development budgets, but it should not depreciate the value of the budget just because it has already been ‘spent’ (i.e. the levy is prepaid). Where businesses must tread carefully is the messages between ‘spending the levy’ and focusing on core business need.

Previous opportunities might have been allocated under a reward scheme, an element of internal competition, length of employment, or even on a first come first served basis. Apprenticeships, however, will likely require a different way of recruiting and working. It requires substantial engagement from staff because the level of commitment goes beyond just studying for a qualification. But it also requires a deeper level of respect and reassurance between the line managers and the apprentices; as employees take ownership of their training and development and commit to the 20% off-the-job training.

Key company priorities, such as effective Apprenticeship programmes, are implemented and grown with the help of good managers. Successful teams have managers who are actively involved in their employee’s professional development, motivating the team through mutual respect and setting clear objectives and goals. Your business can support good managers to identify and champion talent development by providing:

  • clear communication on the commitment and attitude expected from an apprentice, to help potential internal candidates and line managers make informed decisions
  • information about the levy and the opportunity it presents the business, but a measured approach to recruiting candidates quickly in order to access it
  • a positive organisational culture towards Apprenticeships and internal training and being clear about what it means to the company’s goals
  • an enthusiastic learning environment by equipping line managers with clear corporate guidance on how to continue to motivate apprentices and set meaningful objectives.

Managers have a great influence over the success of a company’s Apprenticeship programme and it is within your interest to help them identify and nurture the perfect candidate. The ideal individual would be someone who has the right attitude, the right qualities and the desire to achieve your corporate goal of a successful apprenticeship programme.

If you are interested in management training for your line managers; or would like to discuss your internal recruitment strategy with our Apprenticeship recruitment manager please complete our contact form.

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