Need to train staff? Top apprenticeship courses according to UK business leaders

5 Minutes

Team leadership, B2B and technical sales – not the first things to come to mind when you think of apprenticeships.

Thankfully, the Apprenticeship Levy, introduced in April 2017, has broadened the scope of apprenticeships including the levels and skills they can now cover.

Upskilling your staff can boost the productivity of your team and increase the rewards you reap within your business. Not only could your staff feel more motivated and confident but, with the right training, their performance could improve too.

Before you start upskilling, decide which areas of your business need investment most and what will have the biggest impact on your company.

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy

The recent introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy has shone a spotlight on the value of training and skills within companies across the UK. All companies with a pay bill of more than £3 million have to pay the Levy, which aims to expand the range and number apprenticeships in the UK, and get businesses to be more proactive about they want when training new and existing staff. This is helped by the fact that new apprenticeship courses have been developed by industry bodies, so should better meet the needs of businesses paying the Levy. Find out more here. 

This reform of apprenticeships and forced investment in apprenticeship training came as a shock and caused some concerns initially, but it has forced companies across the UK to consider where they need to spend their funds to get the best ROI. With the added condition that funds expire after 24 months if they’re not used, it’s imperative that businesses make the most of this pot of cash while they can.

What are business leaders investing in?

To understand how business leaders plan to get the most out of the Levy, we’ve surveyed a range of CEOs, directors and senior decision makers across the UK.

The key areas that decision makers said that they are most likely to invest their funds in are:

It’s easy to see why these skills have topped the list. Sales training tailored for IT and technical businesses are essential considering the growing UK tech industry. Sales skills in general provide a direct impact on ROI, and customer service and leadership skills help to make a business run smoothly and effectively.

In a service-driven economy, it is to be expected that we’re seeing such a focus on soft skills training. In modern businesses, client relationships are made and maintained thanks to soft skills, as well as the ability to understand different industries and work effectively with others.

Why are business leaders choosing soft skills?

Whether you’re taking on a graduate apprentice or upskilling an established member of your team, a fresh set of skills can transform their output.

Skills covering communication, customer service, leadership and administration can be put to good use in almost every area of a business. Where hard skills are essential to delivering products, they are by no means the be-all and end-all of a business transaction. Without industry expertise, interpersonal skills and problem solving abilities an individual would struggle to succeed in the modern workplace.

In sales for example, the aim of the game is negotiating deals, developing relationships with new and prospective clients and boosting your bottom line – all practices which require soft skills.

Upskilling an existing employee could deliver improved output, increase the number of deals being made and make your team member feel more confident and driven than before. This kind of attitude quickly spreads through the rest of the team, boosting their overall performance and productivity levels.

This is reflected in the opinions of our business leaders, too. Just less than half (45%) of those surveyed said training would increase productivity, while 40% said it would make staff feel valued. What’s more, 35% said the Levy would help to develop a more committed and motivated workforce, meaning longer term benefits for a happy team. This would go some way to explain why 75% of businesses surveyed felt positive about the Apprenticeship Levy.

Pareto's central sales director Andrew Wiles agrees that investing in training sends a clear message to your current and future employees. He says: “You’ve got an opportunity to invest back into your people, if you don’t show you care about their interests and development that doesn’t speak well to the talent you’re looking to employ. The business that adopts an active approach to the Levy will attract a whole new calibre of individual to their company”

So whether you’re looking to spend your Apprenticeship Levy money wisely or are keen to understand where you can reap the most rewards with training services, look no further than Pareto. As one of the government approved providers of technical sales, customer service, management and soon B2B Sales apprenticeships, making us your first choice could help you boost your bottom line.

Explore our range of apprenticeship training courses and start to feel the rewards of opting for a sales training course with Pareto. 

Looking to strengthen your Business?

Let's Talk