Utilising the apprenticeship levy: Manager as apprentice

How many extraordinary leaders do you know? Not many? Interesting, right? So why are we still taking our brightest, bravest emerging talent down the same path we took our current leaders? The truth is we’re in the midst of a leadership crisis.

Only 13% of senior execs have confidence in the rising leaders in their firms, whilst a shocking 82% of managers are perceived to be lacking leadership skills by their employees. But this crisis isn’t just manifesting in the CEOs sitting at the top of our organisations.  Throughout all hierarchies of business, we’re seeing a skills deficit, with a whopping 77% of CEOs seeing the unavailability of key skills as the biggest threat to their business.

The truth is if we want a better world, better businesses, better lives – we need better leaders.  Leaders who are agile, adaptable and change ready. The kind of leaders people actually want to follow and pioneers who are equipped to lead us into a better future.

But here’s the great news: The apprenticeship levy can help with exactly that. 

In fact, since the introduction of levy, there’s been a major shift in how businesses have viewed professional apprenticeships, with a growing number of organisations turning to the levy to upskill at senior levels and develop management and leadership skills across their organisations. A recent IBR report evidenced that 68% of the UK mid-market surveyed now believe apprenticeships can develop leadership skills and 53% believe apprenticeships are attractive to experienced managers and senior executives.

The switch from apprenticeship levy funding just being used for school leavers, to becoming a critical part of the development path for managers and future leaders is important. As the IBM report stated:

“Poor management creates a myriad of issues; higher levels of team attrition and increased employee turnover are just two persistent examples. As they say, people don’t leave their job, they leave their manager. Leadership development, through apprenticeships, is one, incredibly cost-effective way to solve these problems.”

With the impact of poor leadership on productivity being a key driver for the Government’s introduction of the levy, it’s time that more organisations utilised their levy to develop their future leaders. Leaders who can inspire, drive change and navigate businesses to success now and in the future. Leaders drawn from a wider pool, with different experiences and perspectives. Leaders with drive, ambition and an openness to learning.

Aren’t those exactly the kind of leaders your organisation needs?

By Ivy House
20th March 2020

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