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Measuring the impact that Apprenticeships have on your business is key to developing the optimum Apprenticeship programme

Apprenticeships have become a hot topic for a growing number of organisations - for those new to the world of Apprenticeships as well as those who’ve had Apprentices in their business for many years. The Apprenticeship landscape has changed significantly in the past couple of years with the introduction of new Standards and of course the Apprenticeship levy.

As more organisations are embracing Apprenticeships and seeing the true value of having Apprentices in their workforces we’re seeing a real shift in thinking, for all the right reasons to how the value of Apprenticeships can be measured within different organisations. There are of course so many ways to measure impact, which vary from one organisation to another and their reasons for engaging with Apprenticeships as a way of attracting and developing talent.

Making an impact on your bottom line

For most organisations, Apprenticeships are a great platform to further develop your workforce, whatever their role or level within an organisation. Others have invested in Apprenticeships as a way to bridge skills gaps or provide structured progression opportunities for potential managers or leaders. We’ve seen how Apprenticeships have made a significant impact on colleague retention in so many industry sectors – giving staff the skills and capability to be far more effective and motivated in the workplace, in turn having a bottom line impact.

In a competitive consumer market, whatever the sector; customer experience has become a crucial part of many organisational strategies. Delivering first-class customer experiences relies on the skills and capabilities of the workforce to build meaningful relationships in lots of different customer settings. We’ve seen how Apprenticeships have made a massive impact on delivering outstanding customer experiences and we’re seeing more organisations measure customer experience as a big benefit from Apprenticeship programmes – embedding their culture and customer ethos into programmes to achieve a consistent and powerful approach to customer management.

Other practical metrics that can be considered for measuring the value or impact of Apprenticeships may include: impact on costs for recruitment, Sickness and absenteeism, Impact on productivity, Motivation, Cultural alignment and Community Engagement.

Why measure the impact of Apprenticeships

Measuring the impact of Apprenticeships is almost certainly going to become a more prominent factor for organisations to consider especially since the introduction of the levy – there is no right or wrong approach.

As many employers set out their plan over the levy contributions for the coming year, setting aside time for a discussion with your training provider about your areas of concern from the last 12 months should make a smoother process is in place for year two of the Apprentice Levy.

Understanding and measuring the impact of Apprentices within your company does not have to be complicated or demanding. For instance, key performance indicators can be used to monitor the performance of your Apprentices during their Apprenticeship. The same indicators can be used to compare and contrast Apprentices performance with that of other staff as part of existing business processes.

Implement the right KPI’s as a part of your Apprenticeship programme

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) play an essential role for many companies, forming a firm basis to execute a strategy that helps differentiate themselves from their competitors, drive sales, profits and stimulate long-term growth.

Having the right KPI’s in place around your Apprenticeship programme will enable you to measure the benefits and impact that Apprenticeships are having on your working environment. The issue with this is what are the KPI’s that your team should be tracking, how you will mark out success against failure, and you could also be missing out on vital signs for future development or worse, signs of trouble ahead.

It is not just essential to track your KPI’s, but to measure the benefits outside the reach of your KPI’s that affect your team and overall working environment/company as part of the Apprenticeship route. 

How can you assess the benefits of Apprenticeships?

Allocating the time to analyse the performance and outcomes of an Apprenticeship, will allow you to see the current and future benefits of Apprenticeships to your business. Your selected performance metrics will depend on what goals your business has currently or planned for the future and what is relevant in context to your businesses needs for growth. For example, if high staff turnover is an issue in your sector, you could track the length of time that Apprentices remain with your business post Apprenticeships. If you have a significant skills gaps, you can monitor the percentage of unfilled roles in the company, and whether Apprentices are promoted to fill these positions. 

Potential KPI’s & performance metrics on the subject of Apprentice’s success

  • The percentage of Apprentices who complete their Apprenticeship
  • The percentage of Apprentices offered a job with the business on completion of their Apprenticeship
  • The percentage of Apprentices still within the company three or five years after completing their Apprenticeship, compared with overall staff turnover
  • The number of Apprentices from socially disadvantaged backgrounds or who have a learning difficulty or disability compared with the total across the organisation
  • The percentage of employees who are promoted internally from former Apprentices, particularly at senior levels
  • The number of unfilled skilled roles within the company and the percentage of skilled roles filled by former Apprentices
  • The percentage of Apprentices who are satisfied with their employer or their Apprenticeship programme
  • Employee satisfaction over time, comparing Apprentices and other staff

 

What is the return on Investment (ROI) linked to Apprenticeships?

The return on investment will describe the profits your business can make from its investment in Apprenticeships. In the case of investments in Apprenticeships, your business will get a direct financial return on the up-front investment they make in training and staff costs. Apprentices perform productive work while completing their Apprenticeship, and there are savings to be gained from lower recruitment costs and lower salaries.

There are also indirect financial returns arising from employing Apprentices. For example; high staff morale is a known benefit of using Apprentices, as is increased productivity and therefore higher profits overall. Members of the public are also willing to spend more with businesses that they see as socially responsible, including Apprentice employers.

Place Apprenticeships at the heart of your personnel planning

Apprenticeships work best when they are embedded into the fabric of your businesses recruitment processes and workforce strategies. Apprenticeship standards are available across a range of business areas and sectors. By choosing a combination of standards in areas across the organisation, you can tailor your Apprenticeship offer to maximise the benefits, which are most important for your business. For example, 17% of employers in a survey said they offer higher and degree Apprenticeships as part of their staff retention strategies, as these Apprentices are more likely to commit to working with that employer in the long term.

If you would like to know more about how your business can benefit from Apprenticeships or if you would like to talk with our team about the Apprenticeship sign up process contact us on 0800 783 2545.

Other articles you may find of interest:

Sources: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/716634/Apps_A5_Achieving_the_benefits.pdf               

https://www.managers.org.uk/insights/news/2016/august/your-kpis-do-you-know-them-do-you-track-them-do-you-care