Jobs: New guidance issued on making apprenticeships work

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A NEW guide has been published to show employers how taking on apprentices can be made to work for them.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has created Apprenticeships that Work to support its members, HR professionals and employers more generally in developing and running a high-quality apprenticeship offer that responds to their skills needs.

Around a third of employers surveyed by the CIPD currently offer apprenticeships. Of those who don’t, most believe that apprenticeships aren’t appropriate for their organisation.

The guidance, which is designed to cement high quality apprenticeships as a viable alternative route into professions and occupations and give employers greater ownership of their delivery, is being launched ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, taking in pace in England from February 6-10.

Apprenticeships that Work has been developed by a working group including representatives from employers including Rolls Royce, Siemens, Capgemini Marks and Spencer and West Sussex Council, as well as trade unions, the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

Katerina Rüdiger, skills adviser at the CIPD who led the development of the guide, said: “Good quality apprenticeships can offer an alternative, high-quality route into work and help improve youth employability. They are also a useful tool to achieve a more balanced skills profile in the UK and respond to employer skills needs. Recent government policy has been to encourage more employers to offer apprenticeships but if employers who’ve never hired apprentices before are being incentivised to do so, it’s vital that they get the guidance they need to ensure the apprenticeships serve the needs of employers and employees alike.”

John Hayes, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, added: “Evidence shows that apprentices help boost productivity and give businesses a competitive edge, with most recouping their investment in less than three years. This new guide will help employers who haven’t previously employed an apprentice take full advantage of all they can offer.”

Dean Royles, who chairs the CIPD Boardsaid: “Apprenticeships are an effective means for employers to develop their own talent. They also offer a viable alternative to university for people looking for a direct and affordable route to skilled jobs and careers. The CIPD’s new guide gives practical advice to help employers tailor quality apprenticeship programmes that provide an invaluable first step on the employment ladder for young people and also develop existing employees throughout their careers.”

The guide can be downloaded from