An interview with Reece Palmer, Training Development Advisor at Coventry Building Society shares insight to how apprenticeships through the Apprenticeship Levy has helped to recruit and retain talent.
The war for talent is one of the biggest challenges that businesses are facing. Today’s companies are struggling to recruit and retain the skills needed more than ever. However, Coventry Building Society is harnessing the power of professional apprenticeships to arm employees with the right skills, create high-performance teams and drive internal efficiencies.
Since 2018 Coventry Building Society has supported both new starters and existing staff to develop and learn at every stage of their career through a professional apprenticeship programme, in partnership with Kaplan.
Coventry Building Society has recently celebrated the success of its apprenticeship programmes showing the benefit of enhancing careers, skills and strengths through learning which can all be immediately applied to specific job roles.
So, what initially attracted Coventry Building Society to apprenticeships?
“Coventry Building Society wanted to fulfil the demand in skills which will be needed in 3-5 years' time. Utilising the Apprenticeship Levy enabled us to start getting ahead of the curve in the skills shortage and provide a committed workforce which is growing each year,” Reece commented.
Coventry Building Society has already reaped in the rewards, from retaining current employees to bringing new skill sets into the organisation. The impact that apprenticeships have had on their organisation has been a positive one.
Reece added, “it provides the opportunity for apprentices to question the ‘norm’ and improve ways of working. Having an apprenticeship programme has been a two-way benefit to both the organisation and the employee.
I, myself, am an advocate for apprenticeships. I would always recommend it to any employer. You are moulding talent to be the best fit for your organisation and reaching the demand for skills. Apprentices provide fresh ideas.”
Not only has Coventry Building Society found that apprenticeships are a great way to upskill their current colleagues, but hiring new talent who are not necessarily qualified has proven to be successful:
“We need to invest in people and commit to their future, which will also help our future. It’s clear to see the appreciation and willingness to give back that people have when we support them through an apprenticeship. They are committed to us and we are committed to them.”
Off the job training can be a frightening prospect for many organisations, yet Coventry Building Society has found that investing in their employees has been worth it. Apprenticeships have allowed the society to appreciate the wants and needs of their employees with the company policy stating that study time must be given, and learners have the flexibility to choose when they want to use this time.
With a target of 250 enrolled apprentices by 2025, Coventry Building Society is working to fully utilise the Apprenticeship Levy, develop strategic apprenticeship programmes and use this as a tool to further assist in recruiting and retaining talent.
Investing in its employees has ultimately strengthened the goals of the business while tackling the war for talent the right way, where they can now look forward to an exciting future.