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Upskilling your workforce can cost less than you think

Skill and potential lead to training and then growth.
Cassandra Macdonald
By Cassandra MacDonald, Head of Client Solutions - Apprenticeships Link to Cassandra MacDonald's LinkedIn profile

Training and developing staff can be an expensive luxury. The cost of professional qualification training, combined with the time needed 'off the job' to train, can mean this type of expense is reserved for larger organisations with big training funds.

Is there a cost-effective way to upskill your workforce?

The growth of new Apprenticeship standards across a wide range of professional job roles coupled with the government funding up to 90% of Apprenticeship training, means opting to upskill your workforce costs a lot less than you think.

Here are some common misconceptions about the cost of training that may be worth reconsidering:

Professional Training is very expensive

Exam fees, materials, and paying to learn in a classroom environment can be costly, with some full courses costing up to £18k.

However, new Apprenticeship standards can make offering training to your staff much more affordable and many include the achievement of a Professional Qualification. If you're a non- or marginal Levy payer, up to 90% of the cost of the Apprenticeship will be funded by the Government. If you’re a Levy payer you could use your Levy to fund this training. Many qualifications are now covered within Apprenticeship standards including ACA (ICAEW), AAT, CIMA, ACCA, ATT, CTA, ILM, CIPD, CICM, CII, CFA and ICA making the cost of upskilling your staff much more affordable.

Why hire an apprentice?

  • You can grow your team while keeping costs down
  • You can develop and mould them to meet your needs
  • They’ll add new skills and energy into your team
  • You’ll provide the opportunity to start a great career

Funding is only available for new members of staff

Apprenticeship funding was overhauled earlier this year, which has removed many previous restrictions on who can be eligible for Apprenticeship training. These new rules mean that as long as you can demonstrate a 'substantial training' need for that individual and the training they're receiving is different from training they've received in the past, then they should be eligible for training under the Apprenticeship route. This means that as long as somebody hasn't achieved an equivalent qualification in the past, they should be able to start an Apprenticeship. This opens up the route to employees of any age or background which makes offering training more equitable and fair amongst your wider workforce.

Passing exams doesn't mean somebody can do their job

A very common issue for employers is that passing exams doesn't make somebody good at their job. One of the key requirements of new Apprenticeships is that equal weight is placed on the achievement of core skills and behaviours such as teamwork, communicating and building relationships. This ensures that those on an Apprenticeship now receive well-rounded training really focusing on somebody's overall performance not just on their ability to pass exams.

At Kaplan, all our Apprentices receive access to a vast e-learning library on key skills and behaviours and are invited to a series of practical development days delivered by expert trainers, all included within the Apprenticeship cost. In addition, it's often the case that where employers invest in wider training and development, employees are more loyal, leading to better retention.

Study is very inflexible

A further barrier to training is that study dates can be very inflexible and can present businesses with issues during busy periods. 20% of the time on an Apprenticeship should be spent in training and development, but how this is achieved can be flexible, working around your requirements. At Kaplan, we ensure that all the Apprenticeships we offer include flexible ways to study, including e-learning and live online sessions giving students, and you as the employer, more options in terms of when and where students study. Embracing flexible learning ensures that upskilling can be achieved without the pain sometimes associated with inflexible classroom delivery.

We hope that the above has presented some arguments to counter the belief that training and developing your workforce is a costly and time-consuming exercise. Find out about the full range of Professional Qualifications and Apprenticeship standards offered by us.

For further information about how this training could benefit your workforce, please speak to one of our expert team.

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