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Apprenticeships - 13 Things You Should Know


Back in 2018, together with DMA Talent and supported by DM Trust, we conducted research into the ‘must-have’ skills for our industry - data revealed that 62% of the surveyed sa,mple used apprenticeships and a further 32% were interested in using one.

So, what is holding back a third of the businesses from starting their own apprenticeship scheme? And, more importantly, why would the remaining 16% not consider such a recruitment strategy?

Keen to answer such questions, we did what we do best: Find the insight to answer these questions.

Using a qualitative approach, we interviewed 17 professionals. This included a mix of those dealing with data and marketing apprenticeships, others overseeing apprenticeships in general, and some with no experience of managing apprentices at all.

All the insights gathered from these interviews are available in our ‘Apprenticeships: The Hidden Potential’ report. But in case you haven’t got the time to dive that deep, here 13 key points to start with and give you the flavour of the findings:

  1. Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for young people to enter the industry straight from school or college, gaining experience while they learn; Businesses benefit from tapping into fresh talent who can grow into a role, as well as broadening the diversity of their workforce

  1. Apprenticeship programmes have the potential of making talent more diverse, better representing UK society and customers, gaining the fresh perspectives of people from different backgrounds and supporting the local community

  1. There is a common lack of perspective on using apprenticeships to secure a future talent pipeline and build growth – businesses report misconceptions around the image of apprenticeships programmes

  1. Brands’ boardrooms are the hardest to engage in programme development and funding; SMEs, meanwhile, struggle more than larger organisations to justify the resource needed to support the apprentice

  1. Despite the levy being the main driver to start an apprenticeship programme, there is confusion about what it can be used for – especially about why it cannot be used to upskill current staff or put towards other forms of training beyond apprenticeships

  1. There is widespread consternation regarding the stipulated agreement that a minimum of 20% of an apprentice’s time must be allocated to their studies – especially for agencies built on fee-earning models; The challenges and priorities of work versus learning are ever present and a degree of flexibility is necessary on both sides

  1. Industry bodies clearly have a role to play in facilitating the start of more apprenticeships

  1. Organisations struggle in finding providers that are accredited for data and marketing apprenticeships

  1. Soft skills are front of mind for organisations when recruiting apprentices; Most organisations believe it is far better to have an eager attitude to learning, which in turn can make life easier for those involved in training the apprentice

  1. Organisations recognise the need to create a clear job spec and memorable first impression of their firm to attract more and valuable candidates

  1. Standards are too generic to suit a specific role, some businesses also complained about the complexity of operating within a standard, and the difficulty of teaching and completing data qualifications – to the extent that trainers are under-prepared and apprentices may not learn the required skills for a career in data or marketing

  1. Providing ad hoc training for line managers is essential to guarantee the ultimate success of an apprenticeship scheme

  1. The best way to ensure apprenticeships won’t turn into wasted opportunities is to ensure they have the incentive of a future and role with the business; During the programme, apprentices should be given constant encouragement from across the business and feel like they are valued and worth the time spent with them

If these have only left you with more questions or peaked your interest to find out more, download the free report and listen to the related webinar

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