Apprenticeships at Salford City College work with over 500 different organisations, supporting them to help overcome their skills gaps by delivering high-quality apprenticeships and work-based learning provisions. The 2021 Learning Awards, hosted by the Learning & Performance Institute, awarded us with the UK ‘Learning Provider of the Year’ award, showing the significance, quality and impact that our apprenticeship delivery has for businesses.
Over 93% of employers who currently work with Apprenticeships at Salford City College have used their services more than once, and 93% of Salford City College apprentices believe the skills they acquire while on an apprenticeship programme have a very positive impact on their future career.
National Apprenticeship Week is upon us again.
Between the 7 and 13 February 2022 we celebrate all that is great about apprenticeships, with the key theme this year being #BuildTheFuture. When our colleagues in the Department for Education confirmed the theme, they could not have been more aware of how appropriate this would be, as we begin to see the end of the pandemic restrictions and look toward a future reduced Covid-19 limitations.
The future of any business is a critical consideration for all owners or senior leaders, irrespective of business size and type. However, the distraction of both Brexit and the pandemic has meant many organisations have focused mainly on short term challenges over the last 18-24 months.
The huge business pressures presented by both of these significant events have dominated short-term business planning and priorities, with a huge number battling to survive into the next day, let alone well into the future. However, it is time we return our focus to the long game, harnessing the vast potential and opportunities that will be presented to us post-pandemic.
Building the Future: Building Talent
Workforce planning is a vital component of any business strategy. Ensuring we have the talent, skills and expertise required to achieve business aspirations is essential. In a recent CIPD report, it was suggested that across the UK, 39% of employers have hard-to-fill vacancies, impacting their business performance. In some sectors such as adult care and hospitality, the problem is even more acute with 51% of employers reporting significant shortages of appropriate and suitable candidates.
The Open University believe the situation is a lot worse, stating that 91% of organisations have struggled to find employees with the right skills in the last twelve months, and 53% of those organisations believe the situation will deteriorate further over the next twelve months. The CIPD, in the same report, suggested that many employers are in a ‘wait and see mode’, believing that skills shortages will resolve once we are ‘back to normal’ post-pandemic.
Now is the time to build your organisation’s future, by developing the talent you need. Over half of employers in 2021 indicated that work-based learning and apprenticeship provision would be vital to the future of their organisation; this is almost a 10% increase from 2020.
Undoubtedly, the time has come to cement the future of your business by focusing on developing the right talent for your organisation. The breadth of provision available across the apprenticeship sector is broader than ever before, supporting new talent into your business and helping current employees develop their skills and knowledge to fill the skills gaps in your organisation.
Commitment to Generation Z
We must also remember that in amongst our business aspirations of profit, growth and market share, our social obligation and commitment is a key performance indicator that sets the best firms apart from the rest. It is vital for both the social and economic wellbeing of the nation that our 16-24-year-old population have access to not only the best educational experiences but also a wide range of high-quality employment and apprenticeship opportunities.
We must allow this generation to build their futures, to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to thrive in their chosen career. This can only happen if we provide the opportunities and environment for this.
What better time than National Apprenticeship Week to make this commitment for your business?
To find out more and #BuildTheFuture of your business, contact the Apprenticeship Team today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0161 631 5555