#NAW2018: Leadership apprenticeships can get funding too


The ILM – a City & Guilds Group business and leading specialist provider of leadership qualifications – has recently published research that stigmas around apprenticeships are stopping employers and their middle / senior management from using the apprenticeship levy to provide training.

In this paper, which called upon 1,000 UK HR decision-makers to express their training budgets and preferences, 58% of employers felt their middle/senior managers would be unwilling to be seen as an apprentice. It’s a figure that’s heightened in smaller business where 73% felt their managers would have a problem with it (worrying when only 37% of businesses feel very confident about their long-term supply of leaders and managers in their organisation). And half were even unaware that funding is available for off-the-job training for all levels of the business – with just 57% of those eligible to pay say they are using the new apprenticeship levy.

The ILM implies that this reluctance to be seen as an apprentice could be putting businesses at a significant disadvantage. Of those surveyed who currently run a formal leadership training programme to help fill middle and senior management or leadership roles, 70% aim their programmes at mid-level employees, yet only 25% would consider using apprenticeships to upskill middle managers. 

The research also explores the impact this could have on the much-talked-about skills gap we’re facing. Upskilling middle and senior managers could be part of the solution, but with 18% of businesses predicting cuts in training budgets over the next three years, it suggests that unless they turn to the funding made available by the levy they may be missing out.

Jake Tween, Head of Apprenticeships at ILM, said “Deeply ingrained associations with trade, low wages and a perception that they put a glass ceiling on progression, mean that apprenticeships have long been dismissed by those aspiring to seniority, and it’s time to put an end to it. We must work collectively – government, employers, and providers – if we are to get to place where these prejudices are considered outdated.

“At a time when businesses are being encouraged to take up apprenticeship programmes and use them to plug their most critical skills gaps, it is important that they are seen as what they really are: a highly effective way for employees at every level to gain the essential skills that businesses so desperately need, as well as a quality route for individuals to progress.”

More National Apprenticeship Week stories:

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

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#NAW2018: Leadership apprenticeships can get funding too
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