BPP Professional Education and Trendence UK’s key Apprenticeship Levy research takes centre stage at Association of Graduate Recruiters conference

Ben Lambert, Strategic Talent & Development Consultant at BPP, was invited to discuss apprenticeships as the countdown to the Apprenticeship Levy continues. Here’s what Ben had to say following the key conference held in London by Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

It’s an incredibly interesting and pivotal time for apprenticeships and at BPP Professional Education, we’ve been inundated with requests to offer our expertise regarding this part of the business and how firms can use the Apprentice Levy effectively.

In the run-up to the Apprenticeship Levy’s introduction next month, I had the pleasure of speaking at the AGR Development Conference on March 14th alongside David Palmer from Trendence UK.

For this event, we spoke to firms about the ‘Operationalisation of your apprenticeship programmes’ and offered best practice advice.

One key element of our talk was to highlight the findings following some key research we conducted with Trendence UK and Group GTI.

This research saw us survey 100 of the Guardian 300 UK employers (who were amongst the largest levy payers in the country) about their Apprenticeship Levy preparations.

A total of 12 sectors were represented from fields including Legal, Public, Professional Services and Financial Services and formed The Apprenticeship Levy Study.

Our findings revealed that employers had focused on a levy strategy and which standards were relevant to their organisation, but that they had failed to consider how they would operationalise their resulting programmes.

Our survey, therefore, covered ALL stages of the apprenticeship lifecycle from strategy to operating model to programme management to measuring success.

Some of our key findings included that almost two-thirds (65%) are planning to offer Degree Apprenticeships, less than a third (31%) say that they are planning to reduce the number of graduates as a result of apprenticeships – with two-fifths (40%) ruling out any change – and 94% of employers say they are planning to use the levy.

When it came to addressing talent management, we found that 60% of employers wanted to encourage progression but that progression needed to be factored into levy financial modelling.

And 91% said that the prospect of improved retention and reduced attrition would be a significant ROI.

Those were just some of the findings we presented to the audience – made up of Legal, Financial Services and Professional Services sectors – at AGR’s conference on March 14th. In a snap survey, these firms also agreed that rebranding Level 6 Degree Apprenticeships as ‘Career Degrees’ would increase the interest in these programmes from potential candidates and key influencers such as parents.

For more information about The Apprenticeship Levy Study, full analysis of key sectors and informative case studies, visit: employers.bpp.com.

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