Apprenticeships are employer-led, not opinion-led

Learning is a lifelong process. We shouldn’t be discounting people who have already started their career from becoming an apprentice just because they don’t fit into the commonly accepted view of what apprentices are.

There appears to be a misconception around apprenticeships, and specifically what an employer’s apprenticeship levy can be spent on, which has been reinforced by the recent EDSK report released on apprenticeships. Traditionally, apprenticeships were a way of entering work by learning a set of vocational or technical skills for a specific role. This often conjures up images of school leavers taking an alternative route to that of a university graduate.

This is a valid view point. We need to give young people all the options to kick-start their career and support them with identifying the best possible route to entry. But let’s not forget about the large pool of people who are already employed but haven’t yet developed the behavioural traits or technical skills to progress and be successful. We already know there is a skills gap within organisations which isn’t just affecting talent acquisition; what do we do with an existing workforce that has not previously had the investment to develop future leaders?

The Institute for Apprenticeships reminds us that apprenticeships are employer-led. Employers identify the skills that are needed within their organisation, now and for the future, and can choose the standards that employees need to meet in order to do their job effectively. The apprenticeship levy puts the employer in the driving seat, allowing them to choose the training that is going to be most effective for their organisation. Using the levy to invest in current employees to broaden their talent pool is just as valid as taking on a new apprentice to fulfil a specific role. This shouldn’t be dictated by an arbitrary definition of apprenticeships.

We need to encourage organisations to invest in training that will have the biggest impact on their business and right now, life skills are sorely missing from all points of the learning journey. This can be attributed to an idea that leaders are born rather than developed; there is a misconception that people will pick up life skills along the way. If you follow that train of thought, only those who have made it to senior executive level will be fully equipped with these essential skills, assuming that all we need is time. This totally ignores the talented, driven people who could become extraordinary leaders at any level of the business.  

What if we could offer life and business-changing learning at a time where it can make a difference now rather than simply waiting for these skills to be developed?

Even better, what if employers could give use the apprenticeship levy to provide this training?

Ivy House has partnered with The Opportunity Group, a registered apprenticeship training provider and talent consultancy, to create a programme that not only delivers life-changing development to your emerging talent and future leaders, but is also aligned with the apprenticeship standard. The Master Programme is a 12-month early career programme that is almost wholly funded by the levy.

At the core of the programme are five intensive, experiential masterclasses. Every delegate is supported with five hours of 1-1 executive coaching to give them the kind of input they would never typically have at this stage in their career. The masterclasses are supported by a suite of e-learning modules and monthly workplace assessments to track and support their progress and meet the requirements of the Government.

The latest figures show that only 22% of levy paying organisations have utilised their apprenticeship levy contributions. If you want to chat about using your levy funding to transform your emerging talent, get in touch today.

By Ivy House
8th January 2020

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