Apprenticeships have been around for a while, however with the rapid technological advancement, their relevance has grown even more significant. The UK Government reports that between 2010 and 2019 an estimate of more than 1.4 million apprenticeships started. This number is a testament to the importance of apprenticeships in employee training and development.
In this article, we will provide you with an overview of apprenticeships in the UK and highlight the value that your business can gain from employing apprentices.
Background of Apprenticeships in the UK
An apprenticeship in the UK is a paid employment opportunity in which an individual acquires valuable skills and experiences whilst working. Alongside on-the-job training, apprentices spend at least 20% of their working hours completing classroom-based learning with a college, university or training provider which leads to a nationally recognised qualification.
Apprenticeships are open to individuals aged 16 and over, residing in the UK, and can be completed within a period of one to six years.
In 2017, the Government also introduced the Apprenticeship Levy to increase funding for apprenticeships and further encourage companies to embrace apprenticeships.
During 2020-2021, more than 700,000 individuals took part in an apprenticeship program.
Benefits of Apprenticeships in the UK
Participating in an apprenticeship programme allows companies to develop a skilled workforce through tailored training that meets specific business needs. Apprenticeships provide a cost-effective means of recruiting employees, as training costs are subsidised by the government and companies can shape apprentices to meet internal business requirements and objectives.
Furthermore, these programmes contribute to improved productivity, as apprentices gain practical experience while learning. Skills are translated directly into on-the-job tasks. Companies that invest in apprenticeships also experience higher employee loyalty and retention, with apprentices valuing the commitment shown to their professional growth. According to BAE Systems, apprentices who complete their programs often choose to continue their careers within the company. As a result of this commitment to talent development, BAE Systems has earned a reputation as an employer of choice in the engineering and defense sectors.
Apprentices themselves bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to businesses, challenging traditional practices and presenting solutions to business problems. Moreover, apprenticeships enable companies to plan for the future by developing a skilled talent pipeline, reducing talent gaps and ensuring organisational continuity.
Actively engaging in apprenticeship initiatives enhances a company's reputation within the industry and the broader community, showcasing a commitment to workforce development and social responsibility. Rolls-Royce, Unilever, and Siemens are exemplary examples with a strong commitment to apprenticeship initiatives, making a positive impact on both their industry and the broader community.
While the benefits of apprenticeships for companies are significant, they also provide massive potential for individuals. Apprenticeships provide young people with a range of valuable skills and knowledge that can help them progress in their careers. They give young adults an opportunity to earn a salary whilst learning, which can be especially attractive for those who may not be interested in traditional academic pathways. What’s more, Apprenticeships, typically lasting between one to four years, can result in various qualifications such as a diploma, a degree, or a professional qualification.
At LEVRA, we recognize he importance of a skilled workforce and the value that apprenticeship programs can bring to businesses. According to research, on average 7.5 hours weekly per employee is lost because of insufficient human skills training for employees and management. That is why we have developed our customised, impact-measurable human skills coaching for apprentices so that companies can maximise the productivity and effectiveness of their apprentices in a cost-efficient way. We work closely with companies to create coaching programmes aimed at developing the talent of apprentices, maximising a firm's return on investment and providing ongoing support to ensure that apprentices continue to reach their potential.