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Apprenticeships: Ignore Them At Your Peril

Learning Culture - How To Promote

Find out what strategies companies are employing to ensure they make the 
most of the apprenticeship levy.

Apprenticeships have been a hot topic since their announcement in 2017. Ever since, companies have been getting to grips with the levy, what it means and how to use it effectively in their business strategy. Last year, we looked at effective ways of utilising the levy - this year we focus on the risks associated with not using it, especially as the UK inches ever closer to the 2020 skills shortage and with Brexit knocking at the door.

Read an excerpt from the report below and register for a pre-release of the full article:

When you think of the term apprentice, often what springs to mind is someone fresh out of school looking to take the first step on the career ladder. Many still don’t realise that there are a wealth of apprenticeships at bachelor's and even master’s level aimed at training every level of the workforce, which can help your talent pipeline planning twofold. Firstly, apprenticeships can be used to train existing staff, increase their engagement and motivation in the workplace and contribute to staff retention.

Secondly, apprenticeships can bring in new employees and develop them internally, increasing loyalty and bringing in cross-generation knowledge sharing.

Despite this, the number of people applying to apprenticeships is falling. Apprenticeship starts were down 28% between August 2017 and March 2018, compared to the same period in 2016/17.

Forget Brexit - the biggest risk to your talent pipeline is a loss of engagement. Losing talent is a costly business. It’s estimated that re-hiring a position can cost a company up to nine months of that position’s salary. It also takes an average of 28 weeks to get the employee up to speed. On the other hand, companies that focus on engagement tend to see higher retention, which has a big benefit to their bottom line. The CLC reports that highly engaged organisations have the potential to reduce staff turnover by a whopping 87%.

Featuring interviews from apprenticeship leaders at Sodexo, Wessex Water, Funding Solutions 4 Business and excerpts from the John Lewis Partnership, finish reading this report to learn more about key findings such as:

  • Just half of the companies (53%) surveyed viewed apprenticeships as an important part of their L&D strategy for 2019, despite the UK's potential talent pipeline shortage and the ageing workforce
  • Sixty percent of UK companies using apprenticeship funds are confident of their talent pipeline. Only 15% of UK companies surveyed overall are very confident that their talent pipeline will serve their organisation's needs.
  • Seventy-two of market leaders are using L&D as a key part of their recruitment strategy.
  • Ninety percent of market leaders are using levy funds to train apprentices.

Sign up for a pre-release copy of the UK L&D Report 2019: Benchmark Your Workplace Learning Strategy:

Download the report to view:

  • Key L&D trends for 2019: Are you on track?

  • L&D Benchmarking Survey: How much are other companies spending on L&D?

  • Expert opinion: How to optimise your L&D strategy to drive competitive advantage

  • Expert opinion: How to use apprenticeships to surefire your talent pipeline

Download the 2019 U.K. L&D Report
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About the Author

Sophie Austin, Site Manager for moved to Sweden in 2017 from London, England, where she spent 3 years working in the education sector.

Sophie has a First Class Bachelor’s Degree from King’s College London and is currently studying for her Masters in Creative Writing at Stockholm University. A qualified writer, alongside her work Sophie has written two books and is a contributing writer for the 2019 UK L&D Report.


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Last updated: 15 Jul 2019

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