Want to do a higher or degree apprenticeship?
Here's how to start the conversation with your boss.
Higher and degree apprenticeships are a partnership arrangement between employers and employees, where both sides gain. Apprentices benefit from increased skills and enhanced employability, while employers gain from greater productivity and improved competitiveness.
Here at the University of Gloucestershire, we are working with employers to deliver higher apprenticeships in leadership and management, cyber security, paraplanning and in healthcare (assistant practitioner). We are also delivering the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship.
If you are interested in doing a higher or degree apprenticeship with us, you do need to be employed. Your first step is speaking to your employer and making them aware of why an apprenticeship is a worthwhile investment.
Here are some top tips to help you make your case:
1. Do your research
Before doing anything else, check you are eligible for the apprenticeship you have in mind - you need to be able to demonstrate that it will enable you to gain substantive new skills.
The next step is to find out if there are any guidelines in place within your organisation relating to training and development. For larger organisations, these are usually available from the HR department or can be found in your employee handbook. You should find out if there is a formal process in place for requesting training and, if there is, you should follow this.
Next, find out if your employer has budget set aside for apprenticeships. Since April 2017, employers with a pay bill of more than £3m have been required to pay a monthly levy to fund apprenticeships, so if you work for a large organisation you may be able to tap into this.
2. Demonstrate return on investment
As with any investment decision, your employer will want to know what's in it for them, so you need to clearly present these facts when making your case.
A key point to emphasise is that higher apprenticeships are proven to have a positive impact on productivity – according to the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), an average person completing an apprenticeship increases productivity by £214 per week. This in turn leads to greater competitivity – in fact the NAS says that 77% of employers believe that apprenticeships make them more competitive.
However, it is also important to think about how a higher apprenticeship would specifically benefit your role and your employer. Find out what is included in the higher apprenticeship you are interested in and think of some examples of how your learning would be relevant to your role, and how it would directly benefit your business in terms of improved quality, innovation and efficiency.
You can find some outline information about our apprenticeships on the employer pages of our website.
Also be prepared to talk about how the higher apprenticeship would help you to become a better leader within your business, and how it would keep you up to date with the current challenges and trends effecting your work – for example, our higher and degree apprenticeships provide access to industry opinion leaders, which presents a huge opportunity for your business.
Overall, you need to be able to demonstrate that taking a higher or degree apprenticeship will help your organisation grow.
3. Explain why the University of Gloucestershire?
We have years of experience of delivering high quality, work-based learning programmes. Our higher and degree apprenticeships build upon tried and tested approaches that get the very best results, so both you and your employer can be confident in their quality.
We understand that no two businesses or learners are the same and we have the agility to respond to different needs, so apprentices get the best out of their learning, and employers get the best out of their apprentices. This means that our apprenticeships really are a win win.
4. Find out more
To find out more about our higher and degree apprenticeships, have a look at the information we are sharing with employers. This is also the page that you should show to your boss!