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How can Apprenticeships work with your existing workforce?
Many businesses do not realise that adult employees are training through the apprenticeship programme – in 2014 151,680 apprentices were aged 25 or older, with 2,480 aged 60 or more. There is huge policy interest in apprenticeships but what does this mean for businesses?
Over the past few years, a growing number of employer networks have formed to define the skills, knowledge and, in most cases, the behaviours required by particular jobs. These networks, called Trailblazers, produce documents known as the Apprenticeship Standards. They then design an assessment scheme to ensure that Apprenticeships deliver the skills and abilities outlined in each Standard.
Positively, the new Apprenticeship Standards very directly reflect the skills that employers need, because it is they who have collectively defined the Standards. This should mean that workers trained to the new Standard are guaranteed to be able to gain work in their chosen role for any employer regardless of where they trained. In addition, in many sectors, their training will ready them for professional registration which, if pursued, will add a further string to their bow!
Why is this ideal for upskilling your current team? Although there will still be a cost to you, you will not pay as much as not using Apprenticeships to upskill your workforce. There will be a team of industry experts to support you and your employee – you could consider this free consultancy as the qualifications are vocational which means that real problems and issues in your business will be solved leading to increased productivity and efficiencies (great for the bottom line!). There are two options for existing staff – see below – they stay on the same terms and conditions of employment and you must allow them to attend courses during the working day.
Higher Apprenticeships offer a work-based learning programme and lead to the following nationally recognised qualifications:
• Level 4 and 5 – equivalent to a higher education certificate, higher education diploma or a foundation degree or
• Level 6 – equivalent to a bachelor degree
Higher Apprenticeships are currently available in the following sectors: Business & IT, Construction, Creative, media & the arts, Customer service & retail, Energy, Engineering & electrical, Finance, Health & care, Hospitality & travel, Manufacturing, processing & logistics, Public services and Vehicles & transport.
Over 40 different subjects are currently covered, representing hundreds of job roles.
Degree Apprenticeships are designed by industry to bring together the very best in higher and vocational education. Apprentices achieve a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree as a core component of the apprenticeship.
On a Degree Apprenticeship, your employee will be tested on your academic learning, as well as wider skills and ability to do a job. Your employee will be assessed either using a fully-integrated degree co-designed by employers and higher education institutions, or using a degree plus a separate end-test of professional competence.
The Government is committed to expanding the number, range and quality of apprenticeships that offer training to degree level and many more are currently being developed and will be available as industry demands them. If you are interested in finding out wether this could be a solution for your business my recommendation is to contact Cornwall’s Skills Hub for free advice.