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Building for the future, with new apprenticeships and short courses

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Surju Kanani - Client Director at Kaplan Financial
By Surju Kanani, Client Director at Kaplan Financial LinkedIn

After 4 months of dealing with COVID, and the challenges it has created for our organisation, clients and industry, we have started thinking about the future.

We all need some positivity in our lives, after all, 2020 has just been cancelled. So I’ve naturally had to postpone all the things I look forward to at the start of the year: summer holidays, birthday parties and spending time in the beer garden!

Right, back to positivity!

I am, however, fortunate to work with an insightful leadership team that recognised our need to enhance our internal skills so that we can deliver for our clients’ needs, across the entire digital learning space.

Our new Digital Learning expert

As part of this wider digital learning strategy, we recently recruited Jason Moss. Jason is a highly experienced Digital Learning expert, having a strong track record of designing and delivering digital courses.

When I originally trained to be an accountant we did everything with a pencil and ETB paper, but now everyone was talking about Xero and the automation of transactions.

Today I feel almost nervous when I speak to clients, given my lack of familiarity with the digital space.

Fortunately Jason has been able to highlight a few stats that really highlight the need for me, employers, and society in general to get on board with upskilling with digital skills:

  • 33% of companies in the UK believe they lack Cybersecurity and Cloud-based Infrastructure skills within their business
  • 27% of companies in the UK believe they lack Data Management/Analytics skills within their business
  • Over 88% of companies identified a gap in digital skills already or in the future impacting on profitability, competitiveness, agility and productivity

Our response to the data

For the last few months, Jason has been talking to a range of businesses to identify the most critical skills and behaviours they need to plug the gaps. From his research, Data Analytics and Business Analytics were the skills businesses were overwhelmingly needing.

In response to this, Jason and his team created the following apprenticeship programmes to launch in January 2021:

  • Level 3 Data Technician (24 month programme)
  • Level 4 Data Analyst (24 month programme)
  • Level 4 Business Analyst (18 month programme)

There is a strong theme around data with these apprenticeships, but later in 2021 we will be launching further apprenticeships around Cloud Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Software Development.

Personally, I am super excited to talk to clients about these amazing new apprenticeships, without ever losing sight of the ongoing importance of our core Accountancy and Tax apprentice.

New Tech short course

Kaplan has also created a number of short courses, one in particular called New Technologies for Businesses. With around 40 hours of learning, it will give your Accountancy and Tax employees the perfect introduction and insight into the digital space.

I’m in the process of covering the course, starting from the beginning. I need to become more knowledgeable as I have recognised that I could also really benefit from bridging my skills gap.

I recently spoke to a training partner that is keen on asking every single partner and senior manager in the organisation to complete the course as a basic upskilling requirement.

Apprenticeships for your company

Do you want to enrich your Accountancy and Tax apprenticeship with Kaplan? Or do you want your employees to undertake one of the digital apprenticeships we are launching with all the benefits of using your levy funds to obtain the benefits?

We are now in a position to deliver this to your organisation and apprentices.

With many endless possibilities to change your employees’ digital skills, is it time to have a conversation to create that proactive plan so your organisation can get ahead?

Surju has worked at Kaplan for over 11 years, initially as a tutor and is now a Client Director. He specialises in helping accountancy firms deliver effective apprenticeship solutions to allow their workforce to grow and develop.

If you feel a consultation would help you and your organisation, please feel free to contact him.

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