An exciting opportunity for smart employers in the UK to engage in a people development revolution arrived earlier this year in the unlikely form of apprenticeships. Well unlikely to those of us who regarded apprenticeships as a development route for young people who needed an alternative to academia.
Think of the broad concept of an apprenticeship – a learning process through which an individual in the workplace moves toward mastery of a skill set which is new to them. Remove any dated concept of age barriers and factor in 90% funding from the UK Government’s HMRC! HMRC is ‘Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ – a non-ministerial department of the UK Government responsible for the collection of taxes, the payment of some forms of state support and the administration of other regulatory regimes. Apprenticeships are now available for most business roles and available to a wide scope of employees, whatever their age.
An apprenticeship implies long term development (12 months minimum) with on and off the job learning in various forms blended into one initiative. In other words, if well designed and delivered, an apprenticeship offers a powerful learning journey that will give a strong boost to capability and productivity.
The new apprenticeships are relevant and practical. This is because in the new apprentice world the whole thing is pitched against standards that have been created by groups of employers. These standards exist for a wide range of job roles, and of specific interest to us is that they encompass management and leadership at all levels. Management apprentices may be of any age, working toward supervisory, team leadership or senior management roles. They don’t even need to be called ‘apprentices’.
This new world got fully into gear in May 2017 and those employers with a payroll of £3 million or more began to have 0.5% of their payroll retained by HMRC as a compulsory Apprenticeship Levy that can only be recovered by funding apprenticeships.
Of course, this has had an impact on the way that organisations are sourcing and funding learning and development partners. At Primeast we have apprenticeship specialists who can advise on a full strategy (management and beyond) to make the most of this opportunity. We can offer a turnkey solution to larger employees or bespoke delivery as an alternative.
Perhaps you can tell that we are excited by the prospect. A management apprenticeship allows us to take the principles we have worked with for many years – management and leadership development linked to commercial outcomes – and make them blossom to a fully-fledged development experience within our clients’ budget courtesy of apprenticeship funding.
You may also like this: The Apprenticeship Levy – everything UK businesses need to know.
- Gordon Roscoe, Head of Automotive.