They are Apprentices, Jim, but not as we know it.
Designed by employers, backed by business-owners and championed by the Government, the new Apprenticeship Standards have turned the idea of what an Apprentices is completely on its head… a bit like what Apple did to the mobile phone market when it released the iPhone.
Rather than the stereotypical angsty adolescence who failed to make the grade at school, Apprentices are now older, wiser and much more reliable than they’ve ever been before.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you, the ‘Alt-Apprentice’…
Upskilled from your existing workforce
There’s nothing more frustrating than losing promising and reliable members of staff because they’ve started to outgrow their role.
In the past employers and line managers have lived in fear of the moment when they drop the “I fancy a change” or “I need a new challenge” bombshell. But one way of keeping the good members of your team… in your team… is to offer them the option to upskill through an Apprenticeship provider.
An area of training that’s quite en Vogue at the moment is Digital Marketing. Not only is online still seen as cool, it’s extremely lucrative, too – for both the businesses who know how to use it and the people who know their PPC from their SEO.
So don’t let employees with enthusiasm and raw talent slip back into the jobs market. Keep ‘em, train ‘em and improve your businesses digital marketing performance along the way.
What’s more, the Government will contribute up to 90% of the training costs, too!
Graduates are (very) welcome
As a way of trying to bridge the skills shortage, the new Apprenticeship has been made available to graduates. This is because the new standards are making Apprenticeships more subject-focused and specialised, compared to their more general predecessors.
Take the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship we offer for example, for 18 months our Apprentices will be coached by experts in every area of digital marketing, from Google Adwords and PPC to social media content and Email Marketing. In that time they’ll become digital allrounders and earn a nationally-admired qualification from The Chartered Institute of Marketing.
In the past, Apprenticeships were aimed at a less academic demographic because if you did well at school, sixth-form or college, it was a given that you’d be applying to go to University.
But despite thousands of pounds worth of debt from three years of undergraduate studies, many University leavers with good degrees lack the kind of skills that employers actually want.
So if you think that when you handback your cap and gown back after graduation that your learning is over… think again!
And it’s like they say: ‘age before beauty’
Another thing that’s great about these new Apprenticeships is that they don’t have any top-end age limits. It doesn’t matter if you’re 55, 66 or even 77, you’d be able to be an Apprentice under the new standards.
In fact, we’re openly encouraging people who are a little longer in the tooth than you stereotypical learner to enlist on our Digital Marketing Apprenticeship training. We find that maturer students are more committed and less hassle than their inexperienced counterparts.
Plus the level of prior knowledge needed in certain subjects (like Digital Marketing) would probably bamboozle any apprentices who are still a bit wet behind the ears.
So, y’know, every cloud…