Apprenticeship frameworks are now a thing of the past, with anyone signing up for an apprenticeship as of August 1st, now signing up to complete an apprenticeship standard.
What’s great about standards from an employer point of view? Well there are a few great ways standards suit employers better than frameworks, the main one is that employers are the creators of standards.
Who better to know what skills an employee needs to do their job than the employer? Which is why groups employers or ‘trailblazers’ came together to create standards for multiple industries, deciding which knowledge, skills and behaviours are needed for each specific occupation.
Freedom of choice
Did you know there are over 600 apprenticeship standards either already approved or in development to choose from? That’s almost triple the number of frameworks previously available.
Standards are now available from level 2, right the way through to level 7 – which is equivalent to a Bachelor’s or masters degree. Gone are the days where employers would need to hire a new staff member with the required skills, instead, employers can now utilise their existing staff by upskilling them through an apprenticeship.
That’s not to say new members of staff aren’t an option, apprentices are proven to boost productivity of current employees making them the perfect choice if there is a gap in skills within your organisation.
It’s also mandatory to provide evidence that the learner has achieved Functional Skills maths and English or the equivalent, meaning you know your apprentice will already have these skills. If they haven’t, they can still complete an apprenticeship whilst studying Functional Skills alongside their chosen standard.
To see what apprenticeship standards are available, click here
The new apprenticeship standards have been designed specifically for the role, meeting the demands required. This means that the standard will learn all the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to perform the role ensuring a rigorous and relevant study programme.
Unlike their former frameworks, apprenticeship standards now finish with an end point assessment (EPA) that learners must complete to receive a grade finalising their apprenticeship. Rather than a pass or fail, apprentices can now achieve a pass, merit or distinction, meaning employers can encourage their learner to aim high and challenge themselves – a great opportunity to maximise the employers return on investment.
Utilise funds and incentives
Thanks to the apprenticeship levy, many employers will already have a pot of funds allocated for apprenticeship training. Those employers with a wage bill over £3 million a year will contribute to this, giving these employers a chance to invest more into their business through training.
If the funds aren’t used within 24 months, the money is returned to the government, it’s a use or lose it opportunity, meaning most employers welcome the opportunity to use it!
As a result of the pandemic, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also announced a £2 billion ‘kickstart’ scheme, whereby a cash incentive is available to any employer who hires an apprentice.
You can read more about the scheme here.
What’s left to think about?
The benefits of apprenticeship standards to employers are huge, there has never been a better time to hire an apprentice.
To find out more, contact a training provider or college near you to see how to get started.
As well as an apprentice, if you’re looking for ways to improve your employer engagement, take a look at our advice here.
If you are a training provider or college looking for more information about apprenticeship standards, download our standards guide here.