The importance of apprenticeships and how organisations are building awareness
Organisations that are employing the next generation of their workforce have the pressure to attract and engage with a diverse range of candidates from various socio-economic backgrounds. Most opportunities for these organisations are often seen as simply inaccessible to those who don’t have particular qualifications or are not educated to degree level. And it shows. The 2018 Social Mobility Barometer suggests people aged 18 to 24 are the most pessimistic about their futures and careers, with only one in seven believing their generation has the most opportunities available.
Could apprenticeships be part of the solution? The days where an apprenticeship was simply a low paid entry role into various trades like plumbing and carpentry are gone. In 2018, school leaver and apprenticeship recruitment has increased by over 50% and so the scope in recruiting for apprenticeships is currently higher than ever before**. Large national UK employers spanning industries such as banking, law, and healthcare – to name just a few – offer a vast range of apprenticeship schemes that massively differ from the stereotypical view of apprenticeships, even offering professional qualifications often matching to degree level.
Apprenticeships offer a practical, hands-on way of learning compared with an academic university degree. And with nearly 60% of Gen Z preferring to learn through YouTube than through books it’s clear that learning through experience is the new preferred way of learning for the next generation of workers (Edweek).
It falls on Employers and resourcing teams to demystify their apprenticeship programs and educate prospective candidates
Apprenticeships open opportunities to a more diverse range of candidates including those who do or don’t have a degree. All training for BT’s apprenticeship scheme, for instance, is fully funded and gives apprentices the opportunity to work alongside experienced colleagues in order to gain a professional qualification as well as a permanent position at the organisation. BT’s resourcing team has been running regular online chats to drive promotions and awareness of their apprenticeships schemes and alleviate concerns around apprentices as a career route.
Yet the awareness around apprenticeships is still lacking. 48% of students between ages 16-21 said they didn’t know enough about apprenticeship opportunities and 40% expressed fears about perceptions such as low pay (CMI and EY, 2016). Only 20% of people aged 18 to 24 think apprenticeships offer valuable opportunities to progress their life or career (YouGov). It falls on Employers and resourcing teams to demystify their apprenticeship programs and educate prospective candidates on the benefits.
We’ve recently been working with Jaguar Land Rover who have been using our live chat events platform to host a program of group chat sessions for parents and legal guardians of potential apprentices who they found had a huge impact on the decision making of the candidate. By educating parents about the benefits and opportunities the apprenticeship schemes had to offer, prospective apprentices who had been well informed were much more likely to be willing to apply.
Unilever, National Grid, GSK, Siemens and many more large organisations are making a real effort…
The likes of Capgemini have also been working to educate people on their apprenticeship schemes, creating an episodic podcast of their apprentices talking through their experiences as apprentices and the value that they have to offer. Unilever, National Grid, GSK, Siemens and many more large organisations are making a real effort to make clear the value of apprenticeships.
Royal Mail is also utilising digital engagement and online chat events for their apprentices across Finance and Vehicle Maintenance teams. They’ve found that participants were hugely diverse in age and background – some being returning mums and others school leavers.
Deloitte has been taking a similar approach, using online engagement to educate participants on their BrightStart programme – the brand’s apprenticeship scheme.
Apprenticeships hold huge value in the new world of work and are hugely important when it comes to attracting diversity among your candidates. If you’d like to know more about how Meet & Engage can support you with your challenges around apprenticeship recruitment please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or experience the candidate experience technology yourself by booking a demo.
*2018 Social Mobility Barometer