Apprenticeships benefit people of all ages and backgrounds – from those with children returning to part-time work and looking to re-train; young people who are strong academically, but don’t just want to do an academic course and those for whom an apprenticeship has opened a new world of work and learning.
Apprenticeships help individuals of all ages to build their confidence and fire up their career and research tells us that 90% of apprentices stay on in their place of work after completing their apprenticeship.
The benefits apprentices bring to business are plenty, with anyone who’s aged 16 – and up to any age – and from any background applicable to apply. There’s a wide selection of apprenticeships available, covering hundreds of different job roles and providing training that employers can adapt, according to the needs of their organisation. Whatsmore, apprentices allow employers to diversify and freshen up their workforce. In East Anglia there are currently around 500 live vacancies – in digital marketing, hair and beauty, chef, dental nursing and pharmacy, to name a few – all with employers eager to recruit the right individual into their business.
Reforms to apprenticeships in recent years have ensured that apprenticeships last longer, better meet the needs of employers, have more off-the job training and a proper assessment at the end. These changes ensure the quality of apprenticeships have improved, for everyone – for the apprentice, the employer and the training provider.
Employers in England who pay the apprenticeship levy, introduced in 2017, can choose and pay for apprenticeship training and assessment through the apprenticeship service. Research tells us that over 90 per cent of large levy paying organisations set up apprenticeship service accounts after the introduction of the levy in order to access their levy funds. Now we have almost 19,000 accounts registered – showing how well levy payers are engaging with the system.
As the system stabilises and we expand the offer, we are now commencing with testing the extension of the service to smaller employers that do not pay the levy, helping SME’s in every sector to take more control of their apprenticeships funding. From early 2020, we are helping SME’s to give them greater choice over training provision, and greater involvement in increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships.
In the most recent user satisfaction survey, 78 per cent of employers reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with the apprenticeships service and 75 per cent said it was easy or very easy to use (July 2019).
As we continue to learn from the best international systems to make the apprenticeships in England a world-class offer, we are helping employers to create the high quality apprenticeships that they need for their business. These new apprenticeship standards, available at all levels, are being designed and driven by industry; creating higher quality training that will lead to a more skilled and productive workforce .
This financial year (2019-20), funding available for investment in apprenticeships is over two and a half a billion pounds. That’s double what was spent in 2010 in cash terms. The apprenticeship levy is an important part of the apprenticeship programme; creating a long-term, sustainable investment in training.
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is putting employers at the heart of decision-making processes and supports the quality of apprenticeship standards. It exceeded its target of 400 standards available for delivery by April 2019, and is maintaining the momentum with over 480 now available, in everything from forensic practitioners and data analysts to land based engineers and metrology technicians.
Training makes people more productive and they earn more. On average, a Level 2 apprenticeship boosts earnings by 11 per cent, whilst a Level 3 apprenticeship boosts earnings by 16 percent. Research tells us that the lifetime benefits associated with the completion of apprenticeships at Level 2 and 3 are significant, standing at between £48,000 and £74,000 for Level 2 and between £77,000 and £117,000 for Level 3 Apprenticeships. Higher apprentices could earn £150,000 more on average over their lifetime compared to those with Level 3 vocational qualifications.
The second phase of the Fire It Up apprenticeships campaign took place during September, highlighting through real stories the return on investment apprentice employers achieve. The campaign is reinforcing the real benefits of apprenticeships to individuals, employers and the economy. We encourage all employers to fire up their business with apprenticeships today.
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Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are an apprentice employer from the region, and recently received recognition for their commitment to apprenticeships by winning Macro Employer of the Year and the Recruitment Excellence award at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2019 regional ceremony in East of England. The Trust employs over 8000 people, with almost 400 apprentices in the workplace, in a variety of roles, including Business, Administration and Law, advanced Clinical Practitioners, Human Resource Management and Registered Nursing amongst some of the apprenticeships they offer.
Talking of the impact apprenticeships have on the business and individuals, Career Development Manager said:
“We really are incredibly proud as a team. Apprentices are integral to the success of our organisation – they are our workforce of the future. Winning an award for our commitment to apprenticeships is so valuable in encouraging other employers, particularly other macro employers, to consider hiring apprentices.”