The past few years have been challenging for everyone and for the most part, organisations across the globe have had to make huge concessions in order to make the new working landscape work for their business.
Whilst the pandemic has introduced some good practices to the business world such as remote and hybrid working, which will be continued indefinitely by many, it has also brought with it many challenges which we continue to address.
Many companies are feeling the effects of skills gaps within their businesses due to changes that occurred during the pandemic. Some may have had to make redundancies during or in the wake of the lockdowns, altered personnel responsibilities to meet ever-changing customer needs, or simply lost valued staff who decided to move on to seek new opportunities and increased security during that time.
According to hiringpeople.co.uk, key recruitment and job advertising statistics confirm that demand is far outstripping supply when it comes to skilled positions:
90% of UK employers were planning to recruit in 2022 – a significant increase from 66% in 2021
87% of companies are struggling to fill job openings – with 63% failing to hire because of skills shortages
76% of employers are offering remote and hybrid positions – to meet candidate’s increased work-life balance expectations
Skills gaps in the tech, digital and engineering industries are proving particularly difficult to fill. It is a candidate’s market and without enough skilled people to fill the number of vacancies, some businesses are seeking alternative routes to securing skilled staff.
Apprenticeships offer individuals and employers alike the chance to build skills in a way that offers both short and long term benefits. In the short term, employers gain an additional member of staff who is keen to learn and inexpensive to employ thanks to the government funding available. In the long-term, they’ll gain a highly skilled employee, trained specifically for that role within that organisation and most likely with a great deal of loyalty to the company.
The apprentice will, in the short term, gain a secure, paid position in the industry that they’re interested in, and in the long-term, they’ll receive extensive training specific to the role, leading to a career in the industry and the possibility of future progression within a company that is willing to invest in its staff.
Apprenticeships are a great training route as they offer the best of both worlds for participants: extensive, practical, on-the-job training, combined with qualifications and classroom-based theory to back it up. Whilst apprenticeships are usually 12-48 months in duration meaning that it’s not a quick fix, employers do have a new member of staff instantly that will be hands-on from the start and learning the ropes as they go.
Peer to peer working is ideal for apprenticeship training as it can be applied amongst colleagues within a business, as well as between peers on the apprenticeship programme who may be working for a range of different employers. Those opting for an apprenticeship may have found more traditional academic routes less appealing in the past; peer to peer learning is an active way of learning and likely to fit in with their preferred learning style.
Peer groups are a fantastic way for apprentices to learn about each other's work places and roles, and this will spark ideas and enrich their learning. Apprentices can do this by taking part in activities such as social collaboration, workshops, partnerships and study groups.
Whilst absorbing facts and information is an important part of learning, the development of interpersonal skills and behaviours is essential too. Peer to peer learning can greatly help improve communication skills and relationship building, and gives learners the chance to interact with those at their own level as well as their instructors/mentors.
Funding is currently in place which means that 95%-100% of apprenticeship training costs is covered by the Government, but with recent talk of public sector savings that must be achieved, this funding may not be available forever.
The current funding comes in the form of the Apprenticeship Levy and Co-funded models for smaller businesses, which means that training a new member of staff or upskilling an existing one could cost you nothing, or very little, which is a huge incentive.
The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in 2017 to create national funding for apprenticeships and to enable businesses of all sizes to implement their own apprenticeship programmes. Plus, currently, organisations hiring a new apprentice aged 16 to 18 will receive a £1,000 incentive payment. This can be spent on anything to support your organisation’s costs such as uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary, and it does not need to be paid back.
Don’t delay, put the wheels in motion now to recruit your apprentice whilst this funding is available! At PETA, our highly experienced team is on hand to help you maximise your investment in apprenticeships - get in touch if you’d like to learn more about your options and how we can help.
Apprenticeships with PETA
At PETA, we offer apprenticeships in a range of disciplines from digital, IT and engineering, to admin, marketing and leadership. Employing an apprentice is a great way to inject some talent, bring fresh insight into your business and build a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
Apprenticeship programmes that have a strong focus on peer working include:
Software Developer Level 4
Duration: 24 months
The primary role of a software developer is to build and test high-quality code across front end, logic and database layers. A developer will typically be working as part of a larger team, in which they will have responsibility for some of the straightforward elements of the overall project. They’ll need to be able to interpret design documentation and specifications as defined by the customer requirements.
Digital Marketer Level 3
Duration: 18 months
The world of digital marketing is expanding and this apprenticeship offers a superb foundation from which to develop your career. The primary role of a Digital Marketer is to define, design, build and implement digital campaigns across a variety of online and social media platforms to drive customer acquisition, customer engagement and customer retention. They will work to marketing briefs and instructions, reporting to customers as well as their manager.
Team Leader Supervisor Level 3
Duration: 20 months
Ideal for aspiring managers, supervisors and first line managers who have operational responsibility and who need to build and develop their management knowledge and skills. Whilst undertaking this apprenticeship you will gain a wealth of knowledge and skills undertaking a key role within your company.
Operations / Department Manager Level 5
Duration: 24 months
Designed for practising middle managers and those aspiring to senior management, this programme will help you further develop your core management skills. You’ll cover aspects such as operational management approaches, management systems, finance, leadership styles and performance management techniques.
We’re the leading training provider in Hampshire, providing quality apprenticeship programmes to over 400 apprentices every year, with up to 94% continuing their career or progressing onto higher-level learning. You’ll benefit from:
Your own recruitment consultant from our experienced engagement team, offering support in candidate selection
Full job description and advertisements on national advertising boards, social media and the PETA website
Pre-interview selection and candidate screening
Interview support and follow-up for candidates and employers
Initial assessment of skills, including Maths and English
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