Apprenticeships: Adding to the toolkit for your experienced staff
Your company’s biggest asset is its people. Insights reveals how apprenticeships are a valuable way of upskilling your workforce and growing your businessJermaine Haughton
Often, the positive impact of new recruits is the focus of discussion about Apprenticeships. However, apprenticeships are also a vital tool for employers looking to enhance the skills of existing staff.
Boosting innovation, critical thinking and creativity, fully-trained employees will be better equipped to handle the current and future demands of their job and industry.
From the ambitious and bright 17-year old admin assistant you would like to develop and eventually promote within your firm to the established team leader, who is lacking specific technical and soft skills to advance into senior management, apprenticeships can be the answer.
Emily Bell, 23, learnt about the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship while working at Pizza Hut Restaurants, after leaving her Marine Biology and Oceanography course at Plymouth University.
In September, Bell became part of the first round of Chartered Manager Degree Apprentices at Pizza Hut Restaurants, and says the opportunity was perfect for her.
“I knew as soon as I saw the opportunity to study the degree apprenticeship that it was a perfect path for me to develop my future career at Pizza Hut Restaurants,” she said. “I see this as a great way to learn while opening up further opportunities for my future.
“I have already begun training as a shift manager and know this programme will boost my results. On top of that I am getting a great opportunity to work at a leading company, gain a degree in Business Management and Leadership and become a fully qualified Chartered Manager.”Read More: Meet the Chartered Managers
The new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship has been developed by a group of 40 employers and universities, supported by the CMI.
Pizza Hut Restaurants is working alongside Manchester Metropolitan University to provide the course, which is part government-funded, and the firm is one of the first in the UK to adopt this apprenticeship programme.
Emily adds that she’s glad to have found a fulfilling career through the programme.
“When you deliver great service you are making someone else's day better. You get back what you put in. Some shifts will be harder than others, but if you're prepared to put in the effort, you will reap rewards,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to making the most of the opportunities that I’ll gain from the degree apprenticeship, but I think that it’s great for Pizza Hut Restaurants too; they are investing in their future leaders.”
Apprenticeships for all
Apprenticeships in the UK are available to people of all ages, and most employees can find a course suitable to them - from management to catering to telecommunications.
While existing employees will benefit from learning new skills to boost their CV, and feel excited about the prospect of advancing their career ambitions, employers typically benefit from employees being highly motivated, more committed to the company and supportive of its business objectives – as well as bolstering the workplace culture.
Offering an apprenticeship to an existing member of staff shows that you see them as an integral part of the workforce and are happy to invest in their future.
Employees are also encouraged to think of their job as a career as a result of this investment, and to stay with the company for longer, which reduces staff turnover and recruitment costs.
Furthermore, offering staff apprenticeships is an ideal way of maintaining the continuity with your office, while simultaneously attracting new perspectives and ideas. Adding to their current previous experiences working for your company, employees are more likely to come back to the office with fresh insight into your business activities, having spent time learning and studying the industry.
Multinational services and outsourcing corporation Serco Group is the lead employer on the development of the CMI’s Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship.
Melanie Nicholson, director of skills at Serco, said the specific management and strategic skills learnt through the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship has direct business benefits for Serco, and their commitment to enhancing their leaders’ skills brings results.
“We see this as an effective way of keeping really good managers within Serco,” says Nicholson, “and enabling them to use their competency and skills across the different divisions we operate.
“Apprenticeships offer significant benefits to both employees and employers.
“The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship offers employers a way to develop their people, improve their business and also support the wider UK economy,” continued Nicholson. “Apprentices have made an active choice to pursue ‘on the job’ learning and are committed to their chosen career.
“Investing in them now will reap rewards for the future as we grow our own new talent, equipped with skills that are tailored to match the specific requirements of our business.”