The recruitment market is seeing increased interest in apprenticeships, both from a job seeker and hiring perspective. This suggests that matching available resource with skills development is becoming a much more proactive exercise, offering a credible and important alternative to more traditional further and higher education routes.

The benefits of apprenticeships seem obvious, but are key in determining an overarching workforce strategy. They can include: 

  • closing a skills gap; 
  • enhanced staff loyalty and longevity; 
  • effective succession planning; 
  • robust talent management; 
  • greater workforce diversity;
  • upskilling an existing workforce; and
  • (for levy payers) making sure your levy isn’t just another tax.

So what is an apprentice?

An apprentice is an individual who: 

  • is aged over 16 and who has left school; 
  • is combining working with studying to gain knowledge and skills in a particular job; 
  • is either an existing or new employee; 
  • spends 20 per cent of their time not performing their core role, but engaging in job related learning activities; and 
  • completes a final assessment. 

What are the key apprenticeship considerations?

If the apprenticeship route is one that your organisation chooses, have you thought about: 

  • funding, whether you are a levy payer or not; 
  • costs; 
  • any additional payments to you an as employer; 
  • what training provider you will use, or could you be an employer/provider; 
  • how you will measure the quality and effectiveness of the apprenticeship programme; 
  • how you will maintain the learner record; and 
  • how you will evidence you are complying with the myriad funding rules. 

Apprenticeships are a powerful tool in narrowing the poverty gap and offering opportunities to those who have not been exposed to them before. As an organisation, you will need to be aware, proactive and efficient in ensuring you are delivering all of the necessary elements required to support your apprentices, and can evidence that when Ofsted or the funding agency come calling.

For more information on how to ensure you’re ticking all of the boxes and staying on track, contact Mike Cheetham or Karl Bentley