A report from the Oxford Learning College suggests that around 40% of current workers in the UK don’t have the right qualifications for their job, either being underqualified or overqualified. It is estimated that by 2030, 20% of the UK workforce will be significantly under skilled for their jobs.
Rishi Sunak acknowledged this matter during his time as chancellor, saying: “We lag behind international peers on adult technical skills. Just 18% of those aged between 25 and 64 hold vocational qualifications, which is a third lower than the OECD average, and UK employers spend just half the European average on training their employees.”
So, how can you protect your business and ensure you’re educating your existing or new staff?
Apprenticeships could be the solution. They are a brilliant way of bringing new skills and talent to your business. Through this process, you are able to help fill skills gaps within your business, offer training and provide hands-on experience for young people in your industry. With apprenticeship participation rates increasing by 1.6% in the last 12 months, now is a great time to invest in the next generation of workforce.
In this guide, we are going to walk you through some key points on apprenticeships and how they can benefit your business.
What are apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships are a long-established method of practical and theoretical training of individuals, usually within a skilled profession, undertaken whilst also working in the profession.
They are often perceived as a way into employment for younger people. However, apprenticeships are open to all who are aged over 16.
What are apprenticeship agreements?
There are two types of apprenticeship agreements (old style and new style). This is due to the phasing out of apprenticeship ‘frameworks’and the introduction of apprenticeship ‘standards’ in England (Wales has maintained the ‘frameworks’).
In England, all apprenticeships begun on or after 1 August 2021 should be on an Approved English Apprenticeship Agreement under a ‘standard’. Any apprenticeships begun before that date on the old styleagreement must be completed before 31 March 2025.
The main difference between ‘frameworks’ and ‘standards’ is that standards are occupation-focused; they are not qualification-led. The learning happens throughout the apprenticeship and the apprentice is assessed at the end. They need to prove that they can carry out all aspects of their job. They develop transferable skills and gain credibility too. This is arguably more realistic to how employees are assessed in the workplace, rather than the apprenticeship focusing on qualifications that do not add value or experience.