In essence yes – from 1st May 2017 anyone can! There are some eligibility criteria which means you need to have the right to work in England, work more than 30 hours per week and have a contract of employment.
So why do one?
The new revamped Apprenticeships (now designed by employers for employers) are aimed at employees who are starting a new role or those who can develop new skills and knowledge within their current role. Nearly all employees have skills gaps and should be keen to further develop themselves. This means they can add more value in the workplace and ideally get paid more for their contribution.
The new Apprenticeships start at level 2 and are being developed up to level 7 which is the equivalent to a Masters qualification. This means that almost every worker should be able to develop themselves if they have the desire and support from their employer.
The advantage of doing an Apprenticeship is that they can be tailored to the specific needs of each individual. The skills and knowledge gaps are identified before the individual starts and then a relevant learning plan is designed to address the gaps.
The learning plan should cover 3 key aspects:
- how the training provider will support the learner to develop what is needed,
- how the employer will support the learner to develop what is needed, and
- how the learner themselves will develop what is needed via their own independent learning.
The three parties work together to achieve the overall objectives in the plan knowing how the learning goals will be achieved. The performance is then reviewed at regular intervals throughout the programme to ensure that the learner is on track to achieve the goals.
One of the most valuable elements of the Apprenticeship is the training provider as part of their service will allocate a personal coach to the learner. The coach will work with them to provide encouragement, support and in some cases mentoring. It is this coaching support that runs in parallel with the training that enables Apprenticeships to embed the learning and keep the learner on track with the plan.
By developing knowledge and skills in this way, the learner can add more value to their workplace and is much more likely to retain and continue to utilise their new skills and knowledge.
Skill utilisation is key to driving productivity and Apprenticeships facilitate skill utilisation very well.
The final point to mention is that this form of development programme is available to all sizes of businesses. Large organisations are now able to use their Apprenticeship Levy funds to build flexible programmes to suit their needs and smaller non-levy paying organisations are eligible to receive 90% of government funding to contribute towards the cost. This makes Apprenticeships by far the one of the most attractive all round ways to develop their workforce and increase productivity levels.
If you would like more information on how to set up a learning programme using the new Apprenticeships model, then please get in touch [email protected].