Welcome to the ACE360 blog. In this Apprenticeship News piece, we are getting back to basics to discuss exactly why apprenticeships are so important to both employers and learners. While we all have our opinions on the future of apprenticeships and how they are managed, the underlying benefits are indisputable.
Apprenticeships help learners from diverse backgrounds to develop careers and gain practical experience while earning. For employers, apprenticeships help nurture a qualified workforce, boost business performance and develop industry-leading skills in a cost-effective way.
In this article, we’ll explore and expand on the far-reaching benefits of apprenticeships to both employers and learners.
ACE360 is dedicated to improving Apprenticeship Standards by offering a cost-effective, accessible and user-friendly end-point assessment platform. Find out more here or contact us to make an enquiry.
Why are apprenticeship programmes important for employers?
Beyond being mere learning platforms, apprenticeship programmes serve to fulfil an organisation’s strategic goals in terms of talent development, CSR and long-term prosperity. And, with government funding, there are also cost savings to be made.
Let’s explore the compelling reasons why an apprenticeship programme is of immense value to employers.
Benefits of apprenticeships for employers
Tailored internal career progression
An apprenticeship programme allows learners to embark on a tailored training programme to develop skills relevant to the needs of the company. With careful nurturing, they can become skilled professionals and valuable long-term employees with the right skills to contribute to the organisation’s goals.
Improved employee retention and productivity
Each employer has its own unique culture and operational procedures. Hiring apprentices helps to build a productive and engaged workforce as they can absorb the company’s values from early on.
Bridging skills gaps
Companies that provide training in areas where there is a shortage of skilled professionals can help ensure a steady supply of competent workers to the industry. Many employers also show their commitment to employees under 25 by providing opportunities like the Duke of Edinburgh Award to help learners gain valuable skills outside of work.
Consumers are increasingly aware of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) these days and are more attracted to companies that demonstrate their commitment to society. Supporting apprentices and young talent is a positive message and can strengthen the company’s reputation and employer brand.
Reduced recruitment costs are another reason why apprenticeships are important for employers for a number of reasons:
- Apprentices aged 25 and under who earn under a certain threshold are exempt from National Insurance employer contributions.
- Employers that don’t pay the apprenticeship levy (i.e. those with a yearly salary bill of under £3 million) only pay a 5% contribution to apprenticeship training costs, with the government paying the rest.
- A government initiative offers employers a £1,000 cash incentive to employ apprentices who are:
- aged 16-18 years
- aged 19 – 24 and have an education, health and care plan
- aged 19 – 24 and have been in the care of their local authority
Why are Apprenticeship Programmes Important for Learners?
On-the-job training is hugely important to the 740,000+ apprentices working in the UK. It empowers them to make a living while they develop skills and confidence that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their career.
Let’s take a closer look at the key benefits of apprenticeships for learners.
Apprenticeship benefits for learners
One of the most prominent reasons that apprenticeships are beneficial to learners is that they are financially accessible to all – in other words, apprentices put the ‘earn’ in learning! If they are over 19 or have completed a year of their apprenticeship, they are entitled to the minimum wage and can make a living while they learn.
Considering the average university student’s living cost is in excess of £1,000 per month, and the average graduate debt is around £40,000, it comes as no surprise that a growing number of school leavers are choosing apprenticeships as the next step after education.
There are different types of learners out there, and many thrive in a practical rather than academic setting. Apprenticeship training widens the talent pool and provides the opportunity for these types of learners to obtain formal qualifications that may have been out of reach at school, college or university.
Skills development and career progression
Apprenticeships allow learners to gain valuable hands-on experience and develop skills relevant to their chosen careers. Many apprentices appreciate the opportunity to explore different roles if they have yet to land on what career is right for them.
The structured learning, guidance from experienced mentors, and exposure to real-world scenarios empower learners to grow their skills quickly. This not only prepares them for immediate job roles upon completion of their training but also lays a strong foundation for long-term career growth.
Finally, why Apprenticeship training programmes are good for society as a whole
At their heart, apprenticeships are about equal opportunity, empowerment and nurturing individual potential. They enrich young people’s lives and give them a fair shot at long-term prosperity, making for a more inclusive and equitable society.
Offering apprenticeships also empowers learners regardless of their background, learning style and financial means. With the costs of higher education rising, this is crucial to many learners whose talent may otherwise be overlooked.
Apprenticeships also help employers to develop a valuable, skilled workforce in a cost-effective way. This, in turn, boosts the economy, leading to greater job opportunities, higher income potential, improved access to essential services, and overall enhanced standards of living.
Manage your apprenticeship training with ACE360
Thanks for reading our latest blog piece about why apprenticeships are important for learners and employers.
If you’re not familiar with ACE360 already, then click here to find out more about how it is the most cost-effective Apprenticeship Management Solution on the market and how it is helping employers, training providers and end-point assessment organisations to improve Apprenticeship Standards.
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