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Should apprenticeships become agile?

The apprenticeship levy was introduced on 6th April 2017 to encourage employers to upskill their workforce in an attempt to improve UK productivity.

However, higher and degree apprenticeships aside, the number of apprenticeship starts have declined since the levy was launched.[1]

One of the reasons for this decline is perhaps due to the lack of flexibility within the new apprenticeship standards in England. New market research commissioned by The Open University (OU)[2] reveals that one in three (32%) employers would like to see greater flexibility in the content of apprenticeships, which would offer more value and enable them to fill skills shortages specific to their organisation.

In a recent speech to the Institute of Directors in London, OU Vice-Chancellor Peter Horrocks said that the future needs of the economy would be best served by a more agile approach that allows employers to buy in learning ‘modules’ to develop apprenticeships tailor-made for their organisation and employees, rather than be tied to rigid centrally agreed standards.

What do you think about the idea of modular apprenticeships? Could they be the way forward for organisations to keep up with today’s ever evolving technologies and innovations in the workplace? Would they encourage you to consider offering apprenticeships within your business?

Read Peter Horrocks opinion on reforming apprenticeships here and let us know your thoughts.


[1] https://feweek.co.uk/2018/01/25/apprenticeship-starts-jan-2018/
[2] The Open University commissioned market research of 750 business leaders with senior management responsibilities between 1 and 9 March 2018