5 reasons to offer Higher and Degree Apprenticeships to your staff

5 reasons to offer Higher and Degree Apprenticeships to your staff

1) Increase your skills base

Many employers are unaware that apprenticeships can be offered to existing staff new to a job, as well as new employees. The lower age limit for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships is 18 – but there is no upper age limit.

This means that you can upskill your workforce with up to 90% funding though the Apprenticeship Levy for training and assessment of apprentices.

For example:

You are an SME with fewer than 50 employees. You have an experienced 40-year-old technician in post. You would like her to take on more projects on her own, but she is only qualified to BTEC (Level 4), and needs more technical knowledge. She has Level 2 English and Maths and earns £20,000 a year. She would like to progress.

If she undertakes a Level 6 Automotive Manufacturing Engineering apprenticeship, the costs and benefits to your business will be:

  • Salary – £20,000 (no change)
  • Total training costs – £27,000
  • You pay – £2,700

Total investment: £2,700 (over 5-6 years), 20% off-job learning time

2) Invest your Apprenticeship Levy

If you have a wage bill of over £3m, you are obliged to pay 5% to HMRC from next month. You can get that money back to pay for training and assessment of apprentices.

3) Fill skills gaps and ensure your succession strategy

An apprenticeship will ensure that the skills developed are matched to the company’s future needs.

Train new and existing staff so that they are ready to take over from experienced and skilled older workers when they retire.

With a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship, employees learn on the job and are mentored by experienced colleagues as well as gaining new skills from their training.

At the end of his or her apprenticeship, you will have an employee who is completely ready to take on a role at the level to which they have been trained. Not only will he or he know the job, they will also be fully conversant with your organisation, its culture and the people in it.

4) Increase staff loyalty and retention

An apprenticeship encourages employees to think of their job as a career and to stay with the company for longer, which reduces recruitment costs. Offering an apprenticeship to an existing member of staff shows that you see them as an integral part of the workforce and are happy to invest in their future.

According to data from the National Apprenticeship Service, 92% of companies that have taken on apprentices believe this leads to a more motivated and satisfied workforce and 80% have seen a significant increase in employee retention.

5) Increase your bottom line

Investing in apprenticeships can make your organisation more competitive.

Apprenticeships enable businesses to grow their skills base, resulting in increased profits, lower prices and better products.

75% of employers reported that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service.

76% of employers say that productivity has improved.

*Data taken from the DfE Apprenticeship Core Brief – November 2016