Over the past year so much has been written about the latest apprenticeship reform. Articles have ranged from advice on how the ‘apprenticeship levy’ can benefit large employers by helping them to target specific skills shortages to how they can develop an ageing workforce through higher apprenticeships due to newly broadened eligibility criteria. However not many news sources have focused on people dedicated to the training sector and highlighted just what the reforms can mean for those existing employees and individuals wishing to move into the space.
As the fifth largest private provider of apprenticeships in the UK boasting a workforce of over 900 employees, at Interserve Learning & Employment our teams have gone to great lengths to consider what this new way of working means for our staff and our recruitment strategy. Being part of a large company, Interserve, we operate a consultative approach to change and our research extends to understanding both the needs of employees within large organisations and the impact of changes to market first hand.
This has resulted in significant investments being made into the way we do business, from new computer systems through to new curriculum design and development, together with new processes and operating models based on employer and learner requirements. Crucially, it also means an investment in our people, in the form of on and off-the-job learning and development programmes ranging from line management schemes to front-line operational training; including introducing over 150 employees to a new and innovative e-sign up system for apprentices.
Organisational design changes mean more opportunities to move into new areas of expertise. A great example of this is our recent introduction of new roles in Account Management, which are specifically focused on employer relationship management and learner engagement.
Our approach to people, their ongoing training and development and overall career progression is clearly evidenced. Last year 25% of our newly advertised roles were filled by internal applicants, many of which were promotions. This is a clear demonstration of our commitment to developing people and our ambitions to retain and grow the best, through utilising practical approaches to learning and development such as secondments, buddy schemes and mentoring programmes.
And so, for those of you looking to start new careers in this growing sector my question is; has there ever been a better time?