Apprenticeships have been around for a very long time. But the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017 placed the power for training learners with employers requiring them to take control of their funds and utilise this fund to train new and existing staff members. Since 2017 employers across the UK have, with the support of training providers, changed their people strategy to include apprenticeship programmes and changed the lives of their teams by upskilling them, via one of the 712 new apprenticeship standards. 
But how are apprenticeships impacting and changing business?
Changing the way you’re training
Worldwide apprenticeships are one of the biggest business tools used to train employees, and the UK is certainly not bucking this trend. In total, for 2018/2019, there were 742,400 people participating in an apprenticeship in England. 
Employers are used to spending millions on training staff. It is imperative that they do so but ensure they take a sustainable approach to all areas that financially impact the business, including training. Doing so will ensure they are creating a sustainable business and meeting any skills gap needs and future-proofing their teams need going forward. Apprenticeships can certainly help in this arena as many levy-paying businesses are already building a training fund in the form of their apprenticeship levy pot. This fund can be utilised to train their existing team or help to bring on new recruits straight from school. By working with a good apprenticeship training provider, businesses can also see added value from consultation sessions, tailored programmes and customised content.
Changing opinions and pathways
Opinions have changed surrounding apprenticeships, especially since the control over apprenticeship funding was placed in the hands of the employers.
Gone are the preconceptions that apprenticeships are just for school leaves with 75% of apprenticeships starts in the UK ranging from ages 19-65 and only 25% from the 16-18 age group. This shift is mainly down to employers looking at apprenticeships as the answer to any new skills gap needs, which helps to improve the opinions and pathways that younger people and those who have established a career have access to. 
In a survey of more than 1,000 parents and carers of students in secondary schools undertaken by [XXX], around three-quarters of parents now consider an apprenticeship a viable option for their child’s career path. This means that apprenticeships are beginning to be at the forefront of those at the ‘early careers’ stage and if your business offers these as a route to an exciting career path, you might even stand out from the crowd when recruiting new hires.
Changing people’s perceptions
While apprenticeships used to traditionally be associated with labour-intensive trades, such as plumbing and construction, this is no longer the case. Apprenticeships are available across all sectors and industries, it enables your employees to learn your trade, whatever that might be, hands-on. While a degree demonstrates significant knowledge in a specific sector or area, it doesn't guarantee the successful practical application of said knowledge, and employers will still need to train new staff to adapt to real-world scenarios.
Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly common in industries such as business, finance and management, as employers better appreciate the benefit of training apprentices in line with their company standards, in the hopes that the investment will result in a fully-trained, full-time employee.
Not made the change yet?
It never too late to join the thousands of business in the UK that are already taking full advantage of the benefits that apprenticeships bring, contact us today on 0800 783 2545. If you are not looking to use your levy fund, email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to our team about how best to transfer this to your supply chain with the aim of improving the services and products they are able to offer.
"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking."