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Apprenticeships – An Employer’s Golden Ticket

Apprenticeships – An Employer’s Golden Ticket
07 February 2020
 

Nearly three years on from the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, the Department for Education (DfE) has noted a 10% increase of apprenticeships between 2018 and 2019, as released in their figures in March 2019.

With reforms to the original levy rules coming into action last year, notably the 15% increase in the proportion of their funding contributions with smaller companies, employers across the UK are dynamically working to ensure their employees are gaining the right skills from the very start of their careers.

Waterman Group, a consultancy providing sustainable solutions for the property, infrastructure, environment and energy markets, have been working to develop their apprenticeship offering.

As a business, Waterman believes in the importance of bringing new talent into the industry and is actively working alongside schools, colleges and universities, the Technical Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC), Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), Construction Youth Trust, London Boroughs of Southwark, Bexley and Lewisham, Midland Metro Alliance, XLP and ACE, amongst others.

 

Apprenticeships versus university

 

With many students daunted by the prospect of investing a minimum of three years undertaking a course, especially when tuition fees were hiked up to £9,000 in 2012, apprenticeships have proved an equal opponent to university. This has been achieved by allowing an individual to achieve a higher-level qualification whilst gaining invaluable experience within the workplace.

A recent survey by ITV asked 800 parents their thoughts on the ongoing apprenticeship versus university debate. 59% believed that apprenticeships provide better job opportunities than going to university alone. 51% said they would encourage their child to apply for an apprenticeship over a full-time degree.

Amongst the young talents at Waterman is Tahirah Tang-Campbell, a Structures Apprentice who joined in September 2017. 

we-blaze-our-own-trail

In October 2019, she became one of the faces for M&C Saatchi’s ‘Fire It Up’ apprenticeships campaign for the DfE as part of a wider-reaching platform to inspire students to consider the variety of roles available to them outside of the university. Following the campaign’s success, she has been able to promote the importance of apprenticeships on a global scale, most recently speaking to the Australian Government about the advantages for their students if they were to take more control of their futures. 

She explains:

“An apprenticeship is so much more than just learning on the job, it’s a personal development opportunity. A lot of individuals who take on an apprenticeship are usually at the start of their careers and have minimal to no theoretical or practical experience, so there is a lot to learn in terms of interpersonal, communication and adaptability skills. Each new task has allowed me to grow as a person and I’ve seen a change in the way I present myself, professionally as well as outside of the office.”  

“An apprenticeship is so much more than just learning on the job, it’s a personal development opportunity” 

– Tahirah Tang-Campbell

Structures Apprentice, Waterman

However, apprenticeships do not only procure a positive future for an employee. An independent study by the UK Government found that 59% of 555 decision-makers in organisations in England thought apprenticeships were more valuable to them, as it allows them the opportunity to grow their businesses from the bottom up.

In June, Waterman was awarded ‘Apprentice Employer of the Year’ at the Southwark Business Excellence Awards as a result of Nick Harrison, their Group Learning and Development Manager, taking the lead on a number of initiatives in order to develop and deliver an apprenticeship scheme that will lead to more successful careers in engineering and environmental science. 

When reflecting on the increasing number of apprentices that have joined the business across the last three years, Nick commented:

 “2019 was a great year for Waterman as we continued to build on the company’s social value activity and our apprentices were pivotal to these successes. It is highly rewarding to see each candidate’s passion for learning and eagerness to get involved in cutting-edge work as they actively contribute to the business, making the most of the learning opportunities they have been given or proactively sought. Building relationships with internal colleagues and external partners has been vital in making the most of the Apprenticeship Levy since it was introduced in 2017 and I am looking forward to further embedding the scheme in 2020 and beyond.”

Picture: Waterman Group, a consultancy providing sustainable solutions for the property, infrastructure, environment and energy markets, have been working to develop their apprenticeship offering.

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 07 February 2020

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