Case Study:

All you need to know about the new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship

Wednesday 13 November 2013
Ann Francke says CMDA will not only create better trained, professional managers but it can also boost British productivity.
Ann Francke

The curse of the accidental manager is a perpetual problem for UK businesses, with technically gifted employees often being promoted to managerial positions with little or no experience of management.

Research from CMI has revealed that 71% of organisations in the UK fail to effectively train first-time managers, leaving them undertrained and inadequate in the face of the complexities of managing a team.

But with the launch of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, CMI, in conjunction with Serco and a number of leading employers including Barclays and Nestle, is paving the way for future generations of managers by providing professional on the job training combined with world class academic tuition.

Designed by employers for employers, it will help address need for one million professional managers by 2020.

Harry King has just embarked on the Degree Apprenticeship programme with Nestle, and two months into the programme the 19 year-old is already attending senior management meetings and leading his own projects.

In front of a crowd of 200 managers at the House of Commons, the young apprentice explained how his route into a Degree Apprenticeship was driven by a desire to gain practical experience and workplace know-how to serve as the foundations of his future career.

“I chose the apprenticeship route rather than university because there wasn’t anything else that appealed to me to spend that amount of money on,” he said. “I didn’t see the value of that much cost if you weren’t going to gain the experience that comes with an apprenticeship. I’m currently getting practical work experience and you don’t see that with a lot of university qualifications.

“This [programme] can kick-start your career even at the age of 19; I feel I am already adding value to the company two months in, so who knows where I am going to be in five years’ time.”

Nestle colleague and fellow apprentice Haleema Baker-Mir said the programme allowed her to contextualise the theory learnt on the university part of the scheme, and helped prepare students for working life.

“Everything that I learn at university is contextualised in my day-to-day role,” she said. “What can be better than knowing what you are learning actually works in real life?”

But it is not just the apprentices who benefit from the new Degree Apprenticeship.

CMI chief executive Ann Francke said the Apprenticeship programme could be used by businesses to boost productivity and give the British economy the lift it desperately needs.

“People are being asked to lead without training or support, with ineffective managers draining British productivity,” she said. “Today’s launch finally addresses the core issue that a third of managers are rated as ineffective by their teams, a key cause for the UK’s poor performance in productivity.

“The new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship ties together the training offered by educators and employers, with apprentices offered the threefold guarantee of a quality degree, on-the-job experience and a professional pathway for future development.”

Nestle head of talent acquisition Tom Banham said the students from the Degree Apprenticeship programme would not only inject vital professionalism into businesses, but they would also provide relief for an ageing workshop.

“At the moment Nestle is relying on an ageing workforce; we don’t have talented individuals coming through and driving our organisation forward for the future,” he said. “An example of that is 15% of our skilled manufacturing team in the next 15 years is coming up for retirement, so a lot of knowledge and management skills will be lost.

“That’s why we built the Nestle academy in 2012, which is purely focussed on driving entry level talent for our organisation and giving them different development opportunities. This programme is a fantastic opportunity for individuals joining our organisation: they get a Degree Apprenticeship from Sheffield Hallam university, they rotate through four commercial areas and at the end of the three-year programme they get a permanent opportunity at Nestle, a degree and they become part of the Chartered Management Institute.”

Mike Thompson, who heads up Barclays bank’s apprenticeship programme said the Degree Apprenticeship also offered an accelerated route to a managerial career that was not available through traditional university courses.

“We don’t require any academic qualifications [for our apprenticeship programmes],” he said. “We take on anyone we feel has the potential to succeed.

“It is very exciting for us, and it is particularly exciting if you are an 18 year-old starting at Barclays who can say they will be managing their own high-street branch at the age of 21.”

But while the Degree Apprenticeship programme is a big step forward, more still needs to be done to facilitate the professionalisation of managers.

CMI is calling on employers to contribute to a government consultation on improving apprenticeship standards. Businesses wanting to take part in the consultation can have their say here.

CMI director of strategy and external affairs Petra Wilton said: “Let’s look at apprenticeship levels three, four and five so that we have got routes into the profession and an open profession for all, so that whatever your starting point there is an apprenticeship there that can really help you.”

The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship is now enrolling apprentices and CMI is calling on employers to use the programme for the training of existing non-graduate managers as well as school leavers that are taking their first steps towards a career as a professional manager

Visit the Degree Apprenticeship page or email for further information