Moving on up: management apprenticeships improve performance, drive up productivity and boost social mobility

On National Apprenticeship Week 2019, CMI’s latest research with just under 600 management apprentices shows that management apprenticeships are confidently blazing a trail in workplaces across the UK.

  • 89% say their apprenticeship is having a positive impact on their contribution to the organisation they work for;
  • 89% say their apprenticeship is giving them better career prospects; and
  • 92% say their apprenticeship is helping them to develop the skills they need to be more productive at work.

The survey also revealed that:

  • 78% of management apprentices rate their overall experience as an apprentice positively; and
  • 83% say that 'learning both the theory and practice of management will make me a more effective manager'.

The survey covers CMI apprentices on the full suite of management apprenticeships, including the flagship Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship and the Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship. Nearly every apprentice on these two programmes (94%) said that when deciding to do their management apprenticeship it was important to them that they would also gain a degree.

Analysis of DFE and CMI administrative data also shows that management apprenticeships are playing a critical role in boosting diversity. Ahead of International Women’s Day, analysis of DFE data has shown that since management apprenticeships were introduced nearly half (49%) of all management apprentices are women. At the same time, CMI data shows management apprenticeships are boosting social mobility, with just over 2 in 5 apprentices coming from the poorer parts of the UK.

Level 3 Team Leader management apprentice at Veolia, Robyn Donaghy, said:

The biggest impact the apprenticeship has had is it has made me more confident in myself and my decision making. I’ve also applied everything I’ve learned to my job role which has led to me being promoted and having more responsibility within my new role which is so rewarding. It’s also given me more opportunities to use the new skills I am learning whilst on this course.

Robyn Donaghy, Level 3 Team Leader management apprentice at Veolia

CMI Head of Apprenticeships & Stakeholder Engagement, Alison Cox said:

With over 40,000 starts since 2014/15, it’s clear that management apprenticeships are a huge success story.

As the latest CMI research demonstrates, management apprenticeships work for all parties: they provide high quality, highly valued, transferable skills for apprentices, and deliver competent and confident managers for employers, with the skills and knowledge to improve performance and productivity.

For apprentices on the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship and the Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship, CMI research shows that a degree is an essential part of the programme. It is for employers too, who want their senior managers and leaders to hold management and business degrees

Alison Cox, CMI Head of Apprenticeships & Stakeholder Engagement

We know management skills are key to boosting productivity, so in National Apprenticeship Week we should celebrate the role that management apprenticeships play in closing the UK’s productivity gap. Over 9 in 10 management apprentices tell us that through their apprenticeship programmes they are developing the management skills and practices needed to be more productive in work.

Management apprenticeships also play an important role in boosting social mobility and helping redress the imbalance in our businesses and boardrooms: over 40% of management apprentices are from the poorer parts of the UK, and nearly half are women. If the UK is to prosper post-Brexit, then it will be critical that we accelerate and diversify the pipeline of talented future leaders.

Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute

Find out more about National Apprenticeship Week.

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Further Information

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Notes to editors

Data was collected from 572 CMI management apprentices via an online self-completion survey, undertaken between 8th February and 27th February 2019.

This includes 266 working towards a Team Leader/ Supervisor (Level 3) apprenticeship, 180 working towards an Operations/ Departmental Manager (Level 5) apprenticeship, 107 working towards the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (Level 6) and 19 working towards the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (Level 7).

Analysis of gender diversity of apprenticeship starts is undertaken using the latest DFE Apprenticeships and Trainee data up to Q1 2018/19: “Apprenticeship framework/standard and sector subject area PivotTable tool: starts and achievements 2014 to 2015 to Q1 2018 to 2019”.

Analysis of social mobility data is undertaken by using CMI administrative data on management apprenticeship starts since 2014 to 2015, and mapping learners to indices of multiple deprivation.

About CMI

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is the only chartered professional body for management and leaderships, dedicated to improving managers' skills and growing the number of qualified managers.

Our professional management qualifications span GCSE to PhD equivalents, including the unique Chartered Manager award, which increases earning potential and improves workplace performance. We have been registered as an apprentice assessment organisation by the Skills Funding Agency.

CMI has led the way in developing a suite of trailblazing management apprenticeships with a 40-strong group of employers. These start from Level 3 (team leader) and Level 5 (operations manager) through to Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. The Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship gives employers the option to upskill up to executive and C-suite level. CMI is a Skills Funding Agency-registered apprentice assessment organisation.

We provide employers and individual managers with access to the latest management thinking and with practical online support that helps them to embrace change, create high-performing teams and keep ahead of the curve.

With a member community of more than 157,000 managers and leaders, we promote high standards of ethical practice through our Professional Code of Conduct, and help managers to build their expertise through online networks, regional events and mentoring opportunities.