08/03/17, Laura Peacock

Maximising the Value of Apprenticeships


Growing young talent is not just a policy agenda, it is a necessity for Scotland’s economy. Grappling with an ageing workforce and skills gaps and shortages, recruiting and developing young people is a great way to develop a more dynamic and productive workforce. Young people also offer valuable customer insight and unique skills; they have grown up with IT, for example.

Employers throughout Scotland are increasingly aware of the need to employ young people and are subsequently making that investment. This includes employers such as the social enterprise, Glasgow Bike Station; the property company Umega Lettings, Standard Life, Visit Scotland and Scottish Water. For them it is about the sustainability of their businesses as well as giving young people a chance to develop their careers.

A key way to employ a young person is through Apprenticeships. Apprenticeships provide a supported route for young people into a work-based learning opportunity. They give young people a chance to earn while they learn – to combine training via a training provider or college partner with meaningful employment. Over 25,000 young people are in apprenticeships in Scotland; this represents a real commitment by Scotland and our employers to support young people.

How do you ensure you maximise the value from employing an apprentice?

The Apprenticeship alone is not the key to success. It is up to the employer, training provider and the young person to work together to ensure the ongoing development of the young person and a positive impact on business.  At Investors in Young People, we have supported over 450 organisations across Scotland to be better informed and more effective at recruiting, developing and retaining young people. Many of those employers employ Apprentices and use IIYP to evaluate the success of their apprenticeship programmes and gain insight into how they could improve and develop their work with young people.

In the light of the new Apprenticeship Levy coming into effect in April 2017, employers will want to be clear that the investment they are making in their Apprenticeship programmes is bringing them return on investment. They will need to be sure that the young people they are recruiting are effectively supported, managed and developed and are engaged as part of a productive team. Investors in Young People brings clarity on what good looks like, measures the effectiveness of programmes in place and offers real opportunities for improvement and success. More importantly, it makes a difference93% of employers report a positive or very positive impact in using IIYP.

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