05 March 2019
2019’s National Apprenticeship Week celebrates those organisations and apprentices that are ‘Blazing a trail’ in line with this year’s campaign theme.
The fact is that despite over 1.5 million companies paying into the apprenticeship levy every month, there is still far too much confusion over apprenticeships – who they are for, what value they add to an employer.
A common misconception is that apprenticeships are for those who don’t do well at school, are 16 or 17 years old or for those who wish to work in manual trades (plumbing, electricians etc.) Our own experience of delivering apprenticeship programmes as well as upskilling our own staff tells us this isn’t the case. A level 7 apprenticeship is, in fact, equivalent to a Master’s and a great deal of companies are choosing to spend their levy fund on upskilling their own staff.
Some organisations see apprenticeships as purely a recruitment issue; when in fact used effectively, they can be a company’s solution to CSR issues, retention, diversity and community engagement.
Apprenticeships are an effective and viable career pathway for people of all ages; they are supportive and run at a pace that suits the learner and the business alike. At Catch22, we know what we’re talking about: last year we supported 984 apprentices, working with levy and non-levy paying organisations like Countrywide, the AA, Rendall and Rittner and Vodafone.
We tailor our apprenticeship programmes to suit the needs of the business we work with.
And so to break down some of this confusion, we conducted research, asking over 100 companies about their experiences and views of recruiting and retaining apprentices. With this short report, we aim to demystify some misconceptions around apprenticeships and share some of the wide-ranging benefits both employers and apprentices alike have reported.