Alex Ball gives us a quick insight into how to make apprenticeships more appealing through branding.
Much work has been done, from Government down, to promote and increase the value of the apprenticeship brand. And there is much still to do.
To many 16-19 year old school leavers, the brand is already well known – and rapidly growing its reputation – as a viable and attractive career path option. To many existing employees in the workforce, however, there still exist perception barriers and knowledge gaps – and this is something we all have to address.
Ask a time-served middle manager if they have considered a higher level apprenticeship as a personal development option, and you might find they are less than enthusiastic. That’s not because an apprenticeship might not be perfect for them, it’s most likely because they simply didn’t know.
To many existing employees in the workforce, however, there still exist perception barriers and knowledge gaps – and this is something we all have to address.
Employees that might already have A levels or even degrees, or have many years of experience on the job, might assume that an apprenticeship isn’t for them – because the word still comes with a legacy that is associated with young learners.
We have to accept that certain historic prejudices exist, which as employers we all need to combat. Now all the evidence proves it’s time to stop thinking this way.
One way that many clients have succeeded is to fully embrace apprenticeship programmes by making them their own brand. By embedding apprenticeships alongside their existing L&D programmes and the professional qualifications in their industries, employers have created their own bespoke programme with their own identities.
Naming these programmes things like ‘fast track’ or ‘management academy’ is a great idea to brand and promote them internally, and attract and incentivise high-potential employees or recruits.
That’s not so say you should conceal the fact that these are apprenticeship programmes: we as an industry have a commitment to making sure that the apprenticeship brand, at all levels, is as widely recognised and aspirational as possible.
About the author
Alex Ball is commercial director, Capita Apprenticeships.