Apprenticeships help businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce that meets their skills needs. Hiring new apprentices and sending existing staff on apprenticeships brings economic benefits to businesses from all sectors including SMEs, multinationals and the public sector.
Higher and Degree apprenticeships offer businesses the opportunity to train their staff at undergraduate and postgraduate level at university.
As a university that has been meeting employer needs since 1892, we were one of the first to provide Higher and Degree apprenticeships and now offer apprenticeships across a wide range of sectors, representing hundreds of jobs, and the list is growing all the time. We have a long established history of meeting the needs of employers, one-third of our students are part-time supported by their employee to study with us, and so our apprenticeship offer is simply a natural progression of this.
What is an apprenticeship?
For the first time, apprenticeships bring together training providers such as LSBU, employers, professional bodies and apprentices in a formal relationship to meet the needs of the modern economy. These apprenticeships are much more than simply a qualification, as they incorporate formalised work-based learning and a professional accreditation, which is the end point assessment. Apprenticeships are open to both new and existing staff and there is no age limit on who can take part.
The benefits of this are numerous and include cost effectiveness, as the training costs of apprentices are wholly or partly met via the apprenticeship levy. Another plus is the fact that apprenticeships are specifically designed to meet the needs of employers, as they are written by groups of employers within relevant sectors, with new standards being developed all the time. Finally, it involves a three-way contract between LSBU, and employer and the apprentice which results in better co-ordination and information sharing, meaning goals can be set, monitored and progress closely tracked.
All apprenticeships are aligned to a specific apprenticeship standard, meaning course content is relevant and up to date. An example of this is our Surveying Degree Apprenticeship, which incorporates a degree in BSc Quantity Surveying or BSc Building Surveying. Apprentices study on campus one day per week and learn on the job four days per week, providing a combination of theoretical study and on-the-job training that is simply unrivalled.
Why choose LSBU as your apprenticeship provider?
Here at LSBU we recently carried out an employer survey with our network of 4,000 employers, and this identified four areas of common employer need when it comes to finding the right training provider. These were clear and effective communication about how the apprenticeship process works; ongoing support and information throughout the process and with the levy; support with the challenges in recruiting apprentices and choosing the right provider; and a strong relationship with a trusted provider.
Based on these findings, we have created an Apprenticeships team consisting of experts focused on supporting both employers and apprentices throughout the whole process. We help employers undertake a training needs analysis, maximise their levy spend, navigate the Digital Apprenticeship Service, understand the changing world of apprenticeships and provide the support that employers and apprentices need to prepare for the end point assessment. As mentioned, we will also provide support with apprentice recruitment, provide a dedicated account manager and consider advanced entry for staff with relevant experience or additional qualifications.
Our extensive work with employers on apprenticeships has made it increasingly apparent that there are real areas of confusion and so we know how important the role that good providers have to play is.
Good training providers work closely with employers to understand and meet their skills training needs as well as to act as a one-stop-shop for all things apprenticeship. In the past year alone, we have engaged with over 2,000 employers about apprenticeships and have shaped our offer in response to their needs.
LSBU has a long-established history of success with training staff to meet the needs of their employers. We are currently training 6,000 employees from over 1,000 organisations, meaning around one-third of our students are sponsored by their employer. Our intensive day release programmes minimise the amount of time employees spend away from the workplace and offer the advantage of allowing employees to access peer support while they’re studying.
All in all, we are ideally placed to ensure that organisations big and small reap all the benefits of apprenticeships that seamlessly integrate into their business and ensure they and their staff are equipped to succeed, both now and in the future. Proof of this is provided by the success of our alumni, many of the staff we have trained over the years have progressed to key senior roles within their organisation and sector.