The North East has a deep-rooted culture of apprenticeships dating back to its industrial and manufacturing heritage. The idea of a ‘good old un’ with a ‘good young un’ transferring their knowledge, skills and experience has long underpinned the growth of the business community.
The rationale for recruiting apprentices has never changed. Apprenticeships provide a great way to hand pick, shape and grow your workforce. Year upon year, research increasingly supports views that apprenticeships make a business more competitive, provide higher overall productivity, are a major source of ideas for new products and services within a business, lead to a reduction in staff turnover and provide the skilled workforce that employers need in the future.
Employers regularly express a desire to recruit and/or develop high-quality professional and technical staff, however, this often comes with a caveat that these roles are not graduate roles. Apprenticeships at Intermediate and Advanced level provide an excellent springboard for new entrants to a first role in their chosen industry.
Many employers would ideally develop their employees over an extended period of time. Progressing employees to Higher and Degree apprenticeship programmes, which combine vocational learning with academic and professional qualifications, offer flexible opportunities to support the career progression of employees.
Furthermore, while the finer details of the Apprenticeship Levy are still being fine-tuned, there is little doubt that incentives/motivation to recruit apprenticeships will never be higher. However, despite some naive advertising, apprenticeships are not free. A business needs to invest time and resource in scoping the right apprenticeship programme, recruiting the right candidates and most importantly supporting their development in the workplace.
The good news is that the North East college network leads the way when it comes to developing and delivering high-quality apprenticeship programmes across the majority of business sectors. Drawing upon decades of experience at the sharp end they are ideally equipped to help employers realise the true potential of apprenticeships
Some useful further information can be found here.
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