The Apprenticeship Reforms introduced earlier this year are causing much initial confusion but in our view, are also causing some much-needed disruption within the learning industry.

The new Apprenticeships – designed by employers for employers – now present the opportunity to develop low cost, high quality, flexible accredited programmes for all staff; and a chance to finally address those skills gaps and skill shortages.

Sadly, there remains stigma around the word ‘Apprenticeship’ and this may take some time to overcome. Many employees lack the knowledge and understanding around the Apprenticeship Reforms and the advantages they bring which means that HR and L&D teams must give careful consideration to how they engage with employees when developing their apprentice plans and strategy.

Here are ten tips for engaging your workforce in the Apprenticeship launch process:

  1. Get buy in from the most senior people in your business. All learning programmes get a credibility boost and will benefit from senior management endorsement.
  2. Partner with the internal comms/marketing team if you have one. They know how to ‘sell’ an idea, use their expertise, their skills and resources.
  3. Create a simple plan listing the multiple communication channels that you have access to (intranet, blog, LMS, internal messenger, presentations, informal conversations etc.) so you can cover all bases.
  4. Make sure your plan covers an extended period of time. It should start asap even if you are in the earliest planning stages.
  5. Create a ‘buzz’ about what’s coming up; teaser messages using your internal channels, or get a slot on team meetings.
  6. Establish a working group from a cross section of staff; involve them regularly in your plans, updates, content development etc. Ask them to spread the word.
  7. Ensure regular updates across the duration of a programme – what impact is new learning having on the business? What ideas have been generated as a result?
  8. Celebrate success upon completion of each programme especially the first. This could be a short, impactful video, an awards event with a guest speaker or a social event.
  9. Be transparent about evaluation, outcomes and continuous improvement requirements when a programme ends. Ask for help from managers and learners to get involved in this.
  10. Consider external involvement such as being a case study at an event, writing an article about your successes or offering support to another organisation.

For more information please call us on 0161 200 1670 or email [email protected].