8 Most Common Apprenticeships in the UK

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By tracking apprenticeship start volumes throughout the UK, employers can see the most popular options among an emergent workforce. This means you can effectively plan for staff development, as well as strategically positioning your organisation to attract quality hires.

With the latest data, it is revealed that apprenticeships have not experienced a reduction in popularity over the last two years, despite the impact of COVID-19. 

Now more than ever, apprenticeships offer a flexible and highly valuable approach to recruitment. No matter if you’re seeking to take on brand new hires or uplevel existing staff, doing so with the most in-demand apprenticeship programmes will increase your chances of finding success.

The statistics for the following entries were acquired from gov.uk, which reports on annual apprenticeship starts according to subject and sector.

Level 3 Team Leader

With over 12,290 starts in the 2021/2022 period, a Team Leader apprenticeship is by far the most popular among employers as well as learners.

An apprenticeship suitable for people aiming for increased responsibility in Junior Manager, Project Manager, Team Leader, Supervisor or Project Officer roles, this qualification is suitable for any industry.

As long as basic criteria are met, anyone at any level can take on a Team Leader apprenticeship. With 80% of learning undertaken on the job, this is a hands-on and practical apprenticeship designed to develop skills in leadership, management, communication and decision-making.

Pareto’s Level 3 Team Leader apprenticeship is uniquely designed to deliver the core competency requirements and is optimised for productivity.

Level 3 Business Administrator

11,630 apprentices started their journey towards becoming qualified Business Administrators in 2021/2022, making it the second most popular apprenticeship in the UK.

Business administrators have a highly transferable skill set, comprising knowledge and behaviours that can be applied in any industry. Small and large businesses in any sector will benefit from nurturing business administrators with an apprenticeship.

Responsible for supporting and engaging with multiple parts of the organisation and interacting with customers, they focus on adding value and improving the working efficiency of an organisation. Business administrators work across teams, resolving issues where they arise.

As flexibility and responsiveness are required, this is a well-rounded role for employers to offer apprenticeships in.

Level 3 Accountancy or Taxation Professional

8,580 Accountancy or Taxation Professional apprenticeships started in 2021/2022, making this the third most popular apprenticeship in the UK.

Another role which is well suited to serve any small or large organisation, apprentices in this role help to support a business’s financial operations. From providing strategic business advice to auditing financial statements, and helping to drive mergers or mitigate financial challenges, this role is challenging and rewarding.

Technical knowledge, skills and confidence are needed in order to facilitate responsible and sustainable financial decisions. Accountancy or taxation professionals must always maintain the highest standards of professional competency, demonstrating ethical behaviour and integrity at every moment.

Offering an apprenticeship in accountancy will reward you with an employee that has a thorough understanding of your organisation’s financial history, as well as the motivation to ensure its success.

Level 5 Operations Manager

In 2021/2022, over 7,370 apprenticeships were started in the Level 5 Operations Manager, making it an incredibly popular and valuable training opportunity for employers and apprentices.

An operations or departmental manager is an employee tasked with managing teams or projects, achieving operational and departmental goals, and delivering on objectives. Normally, they are accountable to a more senior manager or business owner.

At Pareto, we offer a Level 5 Operational or Departmental Manager apprenticeship with a duration of 21 months, with 80% of learning achieved on the job for optimum productivity.

Our apprenticeship helps staff uplevel valuable skills such as running effective meetings, recruitment and selection, budgeting, problem-solving and strategic delivery.

Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner

4,720 Customer Service Practitioner apprenticeships started in 2021/2022, making this a popular and flexible option for apprentices in the UK.

Customer service practitioner is a cross-industry role specialising in the provision of customer service products and services for organisations. From day to day, this may involve talking to customers face-to-face or on the telephone, as well as communication via digital and written means.

High-quality customer service is invaluable to any organisation, big or small. As the first point of contact for new and existing customers, these apprentices must have excellent people skills and the willingness to further their education in providing the best support possible.

Apprenticeships in customer service cover areas such as legislation and regulations affecting the business, understanding your brand promise, communicating effectively and digital skills.

Level 7 Senior Leader

This degree-level apprenticeship had 3,860 starts in 2021/2022, resulting in significant returns on investment for their organisations.

Leaders with senior management responsibilities can be found across almost every organisation in any sector. They hold influence at a higher organisational level, including sometimes at Board or equivalent level, and they also help to set the tone and culture of a workplace and their area of responsibility.

Senior leaders may need to work outside the office, remotely or on-site, and demonstrate a high level of flexibility in order to meet the needs of the organisation. Day-to-day, they must meet with stakeholders and members of their team as well as other senior leaders and support services in order to ensure business goals are met.

Level 4 Associate Project Manager

2,770 apprenticeship starts for Associate Project Manager makes this a niche yet highly valuable apprenticeship for any organisation looking to uplevel their team’s skills.

Managing projects and the associated teams involved, Project Managers take a birds-eye view of operations. Every project needs to be properly managed to ensure its success, and a good project manager will demonstrate skills such as communication, leadership, budgeting and scope management.

An associate project manager apprentice will learn how to quantify what needs to be achieved, how it will be achieved, how long it will take and how much it will cost. They will also be educated on how to work with others to achieve those outcomes, as well as how to plan effectively and keep themselves and their team motivated.

Level 4 Sales Executive

With 1,010 starts in 2021/2022, a Sales Executive apprenticeship will empower learners with the essential blend of knowledge, skills and behaviours they’ll need to succeed in a career in sales.

Leading end-to-end sales interaction with customers, sales executives mix customer support and superior communication skills with technical product knowledge and negotiation skills to bring home deals and increase profits. Typically, a sales executive will strike up a conversation with a single point of contact for each sale, presenting the very best side of the company and its product with a carefully considered value proposition.

At Pareto, we offer a Level 4 Sales Executive qualification which ensures learners are effectively trained in the very best selling techniques to facilitate their continued long-term success. Covering areas such as building value proposition, developing accounts, objection handling and commercial and financial acumen, investing in a sales executive apprentice will help your organisation reach – and exceed – the targets you set.

Invest in an apprenticeship with Pareto

If you are ready to invest in the future of your organisation’s talent, get in touch with us to organise an apprenticeship. By doing so, you will strengthen your company, foster productivity and nurture growth that will pay for itself over and over.

Are you wanting to look towards your current workforce for personal growth? Our insight on 'Realising the potential of emerging talent' could help you to look inwards to find and enhance the talent amongst your employees. 

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