Apprenticeships & Recruitment
How do you define an ‘Apprenticeship’? Whether you’re an employer, employee or jobseeker, upon hearing the word - you’re likely to envision a young person employed in a low-level role within a manual trade such as bricklaying or plumbing.
Apprenticeships in the Past
For some, there has been a generally accepted belief that apprentices aren’t ‘academically-focused’ and often, they’re found working in low-paid, low-skilled jobs where they make little impact to the fortunes of an organisation.
Whilst this may have been true in the 20th century, the landscape is changing. With ever-rising university tuition fees and the Government’s commitment to bridge the national skills gap – apprenticeships are quickly becoming an increasingly viable option for both employers, employees and job seekers alike.
In the past, many employers have been reluctant to include apprentices in their talent pool due to their perceived inferiority in comparison to university graduates and equally, students have shunned apprenticeships due to their lack of demonstrable career progression.
Apprenticeships in the Present
However, over the past 30 years, apprenticeships have been through a number of positive reforms from the creation of frameworks at intermediate, advanced & higher levels, the stipulation of minimum 30 hour per week contracts/12-month placements and the introduction of functional skills support within Maths and English. At the time of writing, there are now over 372 apprenticeship standards approved for delivery with an additional 215 apprenticeships in development/awaiting approval.
Each of these standards have been developed by employer groups in collaboration with legislative bodies to ensure that apprentices are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to succeed in their respective occupation. Thus, apprentices are now better placed to make a positive impact for their employers in the long term.
All new apprenticeship standards now contain a mandatory end-point assessment. In order to complete their qualification, a student must provide evidence which demonstrates that they have applied the knowledge & theory (learned from the apprenticeship) in the workplace. As a result, employers benefit from a more competent and productive member of staff.
Apprenticeships in the Recruitment Sector
The Recruitment Resourcing standard and Recruitment Consultant standard have been developed in partnership between the REC and large recruitment companies including Impellam Group, Pertemps and Reed. This ensures that the content of these programmes is relevant and reflective of both contract & permanent recruitment practices. The credibility of these apprenticeships is further enhanced by the REC-accredited certificates which are incorporated into their structure. Completion of these apprenticeships results in the award of the Certificate of Recruitment Resourcing/Practice (CertRR/CertRP).
For those reasons, recruitment apprenticeship programmes often benefit small to medium-sized recruitment businesses who lack a formal training structure and a training manager to oversee that programme. For employers, these apprenticeships can be used to attract and develop new talent and/or to enhance the skills of existing employees.
According to a 2017 study by Investors in People, 42% of UK workers move jobs due poor management. Within various recruitment businesses, high billing consultants are often promoted into positions of managerial responsibility and are expected to grow and manage their team whilst maintaining their own level of high performance. Whilst many recruitment businesses have robust programmes for developing resourcers/recruiters - fewer have a similar kind of scheme in place to progress new managers or to enhance the skills of existing leaders.
Fortunately, the Team Leader/Supervisor standard and Operations/Departmental Manager standard are available. Both standards are accredited by the ILM and provide a formal structure for coaching/mentoring and to lead teams & drive performance. For recruitment companies with an annual wage bill below £3 million, these apprenticeship management programmes are considerably cheaper than many external training packages.
So what is an Apprenticeship?
Simply put, Apprenticeships are Government-funded training programmes which enables people to gain nationally accredited qualifications in the workplace.
About Solvo Vir
Solvo Vir is a TEAM Service Provider and a national training provider who delivers apprenticeships within recruitment, leadership & management, customer service, business administration and accountancy.
As an Approved Centre with awarding bodies including REC, ILM, City & Guilds and AAT, we can resource your apprenticeship vacancies in addition to training your existing staff members. Often, we can use Gov’t funding to subsidise the cost of our programmes.
Dom Abubakar - Talent Engagement Manager