According to Peter Sherry, chief executive of Skills for Security, many organisations’ preconceptions of apprenticeships fundamentally limit their approach to providing apprenticeship training.
“Apprenticeships have been around a long time,” says Sherry, “but recently they’ve radically changed. Many organisations are still operating on old assumptions – and missing out on funded training as a result.”
Sherry cites the widely held belief that apprenticeships are only for the young; for when organisations are taking on those coming out of education. “That’s no longer true,” says Sherry. “Funding and courses are now available to almost anyone, regardless of age. They can even take an apprenticeship if they’re already employed by the organisation.”
This means that rather than making those with legacy skills redundant – which is not only a significant cost but also means that culture and experience are lost – people can take an apprenticeship programme to retrain from the ground up. “They can take on board entirely new skills,” says Sherry, “positioning them for a new career and saving the organisation from that loss of know-how.”
Peter Sherry has written a brief guide for organisations, called ‘1, 2, 3 – go! – three steps to transforming your organisation’s approach to apprenticeships’. The guide is available to download, free, from the Skills for Security website.
“Businesses with a pay bill of over £3 million are now paying a lot of money into their levy account,” says Sherry, “and some feel they’re paying more than they get back. This doesn’t have to be the case. With advice from us, we can help them make the most of that fund.”