Apprentices. What do you think of? A fresh faced, straight out of school, younger person, Most likely stood hours on end at the photocopier, filing cabinet or making a disgusting cup of coffee for that important client in the meeting room. Sadly, such misconceptions are devaluing apprenticeship qualifications, particularly leadership and management apprenticeships, meaning employers are missing out on vital training.
The Institute for Leaders and Managers recently found that 58% of employers feel middle and senior managers would be unwilling to be seen as ‘an apprentice’, this figure jumped up to a massive 75% when only taking into account small employers, whilst 43% of employers who already pay into the Apprenticeship Levy do not access their funds. But what is a modern day ‘Apprenticeship’?
Apprenticeship standards are available at Level 2 right up to Level 7 as a Masters equivalent, and have been designed in conjunction with leading employers to help reduce skills gaps at all levels in all sectors, with the aim to increase occupational competency. So why are there such misconceptions?
It seems strange at a time where UK employers have identified a growing leadership and management skill gap in their organisation, that the up-skilling of middle and senior managers would seem like it would be a ‘no brainer’, especially with funding so readily available.
Add the fact the United Kingdom has recently left the European Union, the forthcoming years will be crucial in up-skilling and filling skills gaps in the UK Workforce.
At Varsity Training, we embed the ILM Level 3 Diploma for Managers and ILM Level 5 Diploma for Leaders and Managers into our Team Leader and Operational Manager programmes respectively ensuring those that complete our programmes obtain a competency-based qualification alongside their Apprenticeship qualification.
Employers who pay into the Apprenticeship Levy will be able to access funding for these courses through Varsity Training, whilst small businesses only have to contribute 5% (£225) whilst the remaining 95% is funded through the Governments Education Skills Funding Agency.
The apprenticeship misconception is preventing middle and senior managers the chance of accessing these programmes and qualifications. Employers owe it to those staff, and their business to debunk these misconceptions of apprenticeships.