Managers back apprenticeships for workers of all ages as a way to overturn the long-term employer underinvestment in skills, according to a new survey of 1,640 managers by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Of those surveyed, 88% believe the Apprenticeship Levy should be spent on apprenticeships for all ages. Seven in 10 (69%) say that they would like to have a management and leadership apprentice in their team.
This research reveals broad support for the initiative. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of those surveyed agreed that the Apprenticeship Levy is needed to increase employer investment in skills.
The survey also found that more than half of respondents (51%) think that the country will need greater investment in skills post-Brexit. Indeed, the biggest ask to drive up numbers, backed by 81% of managers, was for access to the digital apprenticeships service to be extended to small businesses. This was followed by 80% of employers wanting more freedom to spend the Levy on small businesses in their supply chain.
The research clearly suggests that managers are seeing the value in apprenticeships. There was strong agreement with the following benefits of new management apprenticeships include increasing productivity (73%); employee retention (72%), engagement and motivation (76%), expanding the talent pool (85%) and creating a learning culture (84%).
Patra Wilton, Director of Strategy for the Chartered Management Institute, said: "For those managers and apprentices now using the Levy, they're clearly already advocates and starting to reap the business benefits. But too many businesses are still missing out. As we kick off National Apprenticeship Week, far more needs to be done to showcase successes, widen access to smaller businesses, and to raise awareness of how apprentices can work for all."
"The Apprenticeship Levy should be seen as a "skills investment plan", and the funds can be used to invest in programmes for school leavers and existing employees. Businesses may not even be aware that they can use the levy to train managers and leaders at every level. We now need more collaboration to ensure that this support from managers for apprenticeships translates into a new way of training and upskilling the workforce.
"The broad scope of these new apprenticeships means that we’ll see school leavers all the way to executives embark on apprenticeships that will advance their careers and benefit their employers. The likes of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship programme is now producing its first graduates, managers with world-class skills needed to meet the business challenges of the 21st century."
Mike Thompson, Director, Early Careers, Barclays, said: "Whilst establishing your own apprenticeship scheme can seem daunting, but there is huge support out there to help any company interested in setting one up and there are countless benefits that come with bringing apprentices on board.
"Eighty per cent of companies that have run an apprenticeship programme report a significant increase in employee retention and 76% have reported an increase in workplace productivity. Providing an apprenticeship programme can also be good for business, with 81% of consumers favouring a company that takes on apprentices. It’s a chance to invest in the long-term health of your business and your workforce; and hiring apprentices is a very good way of bringing in a rich, broad, diverse talent set to your business."
Innovative delivery of blended and e-learning apprenticeships
In the fast-changing healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, support at the early stages of a career and during life-long learning is essential.
Healthcare Learning has been offering blended e-learning courses in healthcare since 1999. It has established a reputation for being an EdTech leader, providing education, training and development to over 1000 new and existing healthcare professionals from a wide range of backgrounds. Taught components of the apprenticeships are delivered using the latest technologies, working with nationally and internationally-recognised awarding bodies and key subject matter experts.
Courses on offer include apprenticeship qualifications for a wide range of roles across the healthcare sector, offering flexible, tailored learning that helps build the foundations of a successful career. E-learning, face-to-face learning, on-the-job mentoring and coaching are central to how courses are delivered.
Apprentices are given training alongside their role, allowing them to earn while they learn and develop future skills.
Dr Adriano Boasso, Head of Education at Healthcare Learning, said: “All our qualifications benefit from being delivered using leading edge technology. This enables us to draw upon a globally dispersed faculty of leading practitioners and subject matter experts. It also ensures the learning process can be tailored to learning with different backgrounds and learning styles”
“We understand that learning does not end at graduation and thus maintain ongoing support to our alumni, many of whom still collaborate with us to support students and deliver teaching in the role of tutors or lecturers”.