Spotlight On… The Value Of Apprenticeships

Anyone who has undertaken an apprenticeship, or who has supplied training, guidance, and assessment to an apprentice, understands the value of the approach. In a changing world, that value is increasing.

Here’s why:

1) A Welcome Alternative To Uni

Forced to reduce funding, increase class sizes, and narrow curriculums, universities have often found themselves struggling to perform. This has led to frustration amongst employers struggling to fill crucial skill shortages in the workplace. Thankfully, employers have risen to the challenge of filling the graduate gap by offering dynamic, relevant apprenticeship programmes, and these are expanding as industries take note. For instance, in a move that has been welcomed across the board, it is now possible to qualify as a solicitor by direct learning rather than from a textbook. The benefits are felt both in terms of cost savings by businesses and students, and in the efficiency of growing hands-on skills in real-time.

2) Keeping It Relevant

Especially in STEM subjects, many academic courses become rapidly obsolete. For instance, IT evolves so quickly that unless courses are amended on a weekly basis, they can trail behind the times. This is a problem because issues such as cybercrime have a direct impact on economics and industry, and means that university course material frequently lags behind the current needs of employers. By offering on-the-ground learning, apprenticeships keep students up-to-date with the latest developments, ensuring cutting edge responses to contemporary needs.

3) A Flexible Approach To Learning  

If there’s one area where apprenticeship programmes have shone in recent months, it’s in the ability of employers, assessors, and candidates to collaborate towards a flexible, resilient approach to training. As such, training providers can fill skills shortages as soon as they become evident, even during times of unprecedented difficulty. Flexibility enables agility and creates a relevant workforce, powering the country towards recovery. Providers and assessors can expect this agility and resilience to continue into 2022 and beyond, ensuring programmes are relevant and accessible regardless of external challenges.

4) A Cost-Effective Method

It has long been recognised that companies that invest in apprenticeship programmes enjoy a range of financial rewards. Building skills from the ground up means creating tailored employees who are completely engaged with the vision and ethos of the organisation. Frequently, qualified apprentices are immediately hired by the company that trained them, ensuring that knowledge is kept in-house. This nurturing of talent translates to finely honed efficiency and increased productivity, both of which can be achieved with budgeting incentives.  

5) Upskill

For organisations that already have loyal employees, apprenticeships can be an effective way of keeping knowledge and skills in-house by upskilling. Advancing a career is often a powerful motivator for junior employees, and all too often this means losing valuable team members to competitor organisations. By upskilling in house, essential resources are not lost, and training can be carried out to a bespoke agenda. As such, organisations can grow their own tailored skill base whilst improving employee retention.

Next steps

At Skilltech Solutions, we recognise the value that apprenticeships bring to individuals, organisations, and society. To learn more about our EPA assessment solutions, please get in touch today.

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