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Higher Apprenticeships Take Talent to New Heights

Tuesday, 02 October 2012
By: Natalie

The best businesses have the best people working in them. But in times of economic hardship, recruitment or development may not be a high priority for employers. So if you want to retain talent, why not produce it? We believe higher apprenticeships can address the demand for higher level skills and extend an employer’s reach to new pools of talent. We develop apprenticeships and standards with employers and have one of the largest remits of any standards-setting body or Sector Skills Council, representing approximately 10 million UK employees.

We have a well-established relationship with a number of employers including BT, which places 1,400 apprentices across the UK.

“Apprentices bring a hunger to learn and enthusiasm. Once assimilated into full-time roles, they have shown themselves to be more productive. They provide a pipeline of talent for more senior roles,” said Max Reynolds, Head of Apprenticeship Development, BT.

BT has a long legacy of training apprentices in network engineering. However, in the last ten years, the UK’s leading communication services provider has employed apprentices who undertake our frameworks in Customer Service, Business & Administration, Management & Team Leading and Contact Centre Management.

“I see apprenticeships continuing to be the major means by which BT expands its resources,” he added. “We have always recognised the value of bringing in bright young people and investing in their knowledge and skills.

Max, who wishes to continue developing talent at BT until the end of his career, is inspired by his own start as a BT apprentice. “It is quite clear that a significant proportion of apprentices, particularly higher apprentices, progress to senior roles,” he added. “It’s amazing to see how people develop in their careers and take responsibility for their progression and also to see how creative they are.”

Apprenticeships are now going higher. New apprenticeships are providing pathways into professions that were previously reserved for graduates or those who developed in the industry. Aspiring human resources and project management professionals will be able to choose a new career path with the launch of two new higher apprenticeships this September.

British Airways was the first employer to commit to the Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management, with BAE systems and Rolls Royce following suit. The UK’s largest international scheduled airline, will be taking on five apprentices in September to help deliver their five year plan of investing more than £5bn in new aircraft, cabins, infrastructure and customer facing technology.

John Bevan, Head of Corporate Programmes at British Airways, said the Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management would bring long-term value to an organisation by developing their ‘future leaders’.

“You get high levels of motivation, loyalty and a can-do attitude which, when coupled with excellent training, can make a real difference to your business,” he added.

We believe there has never been a better time for apprenticeships. Following the growing popularity of apprenticeships among employers, increased Government funding and, of-course, the recent hike in university tuition fees, they continue to drive new opportunities for learners and employers.


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