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We’re celebrating Scottish Apprenticeship Week!  Check out our Scotland page for all the latest! #ScotAppWeek24

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We’re celebrating Scottish Apprenticeship Week!  Check out our Scotland page for all the latest! #ScotAppWeek24

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NAW - 05 02 2024

Unlocking Potential: Apprenticeships for All

Babington Marketing

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With National Apprenticeship Week in full swing, it’s a great time to reflect on the power of apprenticeships to unlock skills, productivity, and potential within organisations in addition to the benefits that these can provide to employees and individuals starting out in their chosen careers. 

As one of the UK’s largest apprenticeship providers, Babington offers a diverse range of programmes spanning Levels 2 to 9 and delivers nationally recognised qualifications. In this blog we take a look at the skills that are required in a modern workplace, what is on offer, who can benefit, and what to do to find out more. 

Current Skills Challenges: Meeting the Future Demand 

With ongoing and accelerating changes in our operating environment, the way we use technology, and customer expectations, businesses across all sectors are facing a growing skills gap. Nearly 4 in 5 employers report skilled talent shortages in 2023, making it challenging to find candidates with the specialised skills needed now and into the future. This skills gap signals the need for lifelong learning opportunities that allow both new entrants, and existing employees, to gain emerging capabilities. 

Consistent with current trends, The World Economic Forum’s Future Jobs report predicts that the following skills will be in highest demand by 2025: 

  1. Data Science and Cloud Computing 
  2. AI and Machine Learning 
  3. Digital Transformation 
  4. Information Security 
  5. Business development 
  6. Process Automation 
  7. Software Application Development 
  8. Internet of Things 
  9. Digital Marketing & Strategy 

There is a clear and growing need for new skills to support continuing digital transformation, and for improved digital, data, and IT skills at all levels. Combine this with the importance of ‘Power Skills’, once referred to as ‘soft skills’ – including communication, adaptability, problem solving, and critical thinking – and there a requirement for current and future talent to upskill and reskill across both technical and leadership competencies. Funded learning, including apprenticeships, is just one way that this can be achieved.  

Achieving Strategic Objectives 

 

 The key to success is integrating apprenticeships into overarching workforce planning and development strategies. The blend of learning methods, on-the-job training and nationally recognised qualifications means they are hugely versatile. With the right provider relationship, programmes can be tailored to build capabilities that tie directly to your business goals. 

This joined-up approach ensures apprenticeships work in harmony with other initiatives like short courses, coaching, and digital learning to get maximum return on investment. As skill needs rapidly evolve, being able to flexibly redeploy existing staff into new roles will only become more valuable. 

Wider Benefits of Apprenticeships for Organisations 

 

While developing new and improved skills is the core focus, apprenticeships bring a host of other benefits too. They are a fantastic way to introduce new and diverse talent into your organisation and support social mobility. Many employers use apprenticeships specifically as part of their early careers recruitment strategy. 

Having apprentices in the workplace also exposes existing employees to fresh perspectives and ways of thinking, ensuring a strong team dynamic. The range of ages and life experiences among apprentices creates a vibrant melting pot for sharing ideas. 

For large organisations, running apprenticeship programmes at scale can seem daunting. However, choosing an experienced provider like Babington means benefiting from end-to-end programme management and administrative support. This removes the day-to-day burden from internal learning teams. 

Too many apprenticeships are viewed as being exclusively synonymous with school leavers. Whilst apprenticeships and other funded routes have a key role to play in accessing and developing new talent into an organisation, they are also a vastly underestimated tool to facilitate the upskilling and reskilling of existing colleagues.  

Over recent years, we have seen many more existing employees engaging with apprentices. With the introduction of degree apprenticeships, they have become more accessible to employees at all levels and can provide a way for organisations to develop existing talent within the workplace to fresh perspectives and new ways of thinking, ensuring a strong team dynamic. The range of ages and life experiences amongst apprentices creates a vibrant melting pot for the sharing of ideas, exposure to the power skills required, and ultimately developing a valuable resource within the organisation to drive the strategic objectives forward. 

Wider Benefits of Apprenticeships for Individuals 

Starting out on your career journey can be a daunting task, especially for those that have just left school to commence in their professional lives. Apprenticeships, however, offer a promising access route to employment, providing individuals with the opportunity to gain valuable practical experience while earning a salary from day one. This not only eases the transition from academia to the professional world but also mitigates the burden of university debt, which currently averages a staggering £45,000 per year. By opting for apprenticeships, individuals can kick-start their careers without accumulating significant financial liabilities. 

Beyond the entry-level stage, apprenticeships continue to play a vital role in the professional development of individuals, catering to both those advancing their existing careers and established professionals. For those seeking to upskill or reskill, apprenticeships provide a structured and effective path. This becomes particularly significant for those contemplating a career change or transitioning to a new role within an organisation. Apprenticeships extend their reach up to level 7, equivalent to a master’s degree level, offering a comprehensive learning experience that aligns with the dynamic demands of the contemporary job market. 

In addition to the tangible benefits of practical experience and academic qualifications, apprenticeships contribute significantly to the personal growth of individuals. As participants engage in on-the-job learning, they not only acquire technical skills but also build confidence and competence. The hands-on nature of apprenticeships fosters a learning environment where individuals can apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, enhancing their problem-solving abilities and adaptability – qualities that are highly prized in today’s competitive workforce. 

Making Apprenticeships Work: Fit for Purpose 

While apprenticeships are funded initiatives, they can be tailored to suit specific business needs. Babington works with clients to contextualise content, embed programmes into workflows, and supplement with additional training where required. 

 As skill needs continue to evolve in our fast-changing world, apprenticeships offer a proven way to source, build, retain, and redeploy talent. Unlocking their full potential requires looking beyond outdated preconceptions to see their value organisation-wide. 

Realising the Potential: Get started with Untapped to Unlimited 

This National Apprenticeship Week, we encourage you to think differently about how apprenticeships could transform your learning strategy. With the right support, these programmes drive tangible upskilling, productivity, and staff retention benefits across all types of organisations. 

If you want to find out more, you can download our whitepaper ‘Untapped to Unlimited’ to discover more about unlocking the potential of funded learning as part of a unified talent strategy!

Explore the place and potential of funded learning to transform skills development

Discover Untapped to Unlimited