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5 reasons university graduates are the new apprentices

Apprenticeships in the workplace have been reimagined. Where once a degree and an apprenticeship were mutually exclusive to each other, you can now do both – to the ultimate benefit of employers.

The recent introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy has been transformational to the way we approach apprenticeship training. The Levy affects all companies with a payroll of more than £3 million - they’re charged at 0.5% of their wage bill. This money is placed in a fund where it can be used solely to pay for the training of apprentices, whether that’s a young, eager-to-learn starter or a more experienced team member in need of upskilling.

Today we know that business leaders are looking for more than just academic proficiency - workplace acumen is also a game-changer. It’s not necessarily something you can learn in a classroom either. Apprenticeships can bridge this gap between knowledge and skill, with incredible results.

To get a better picture of what this means to the business world in real terms, we have surveyed CEOs, directors and senior decision makers to understand what business leaders plan to tackle training and the delivery of apprenticeships. With this unique insight, we can reveal what they think about graduate apprentices and their position in the modern workplace.

Bridge the university gap

Fresh-faced graduates are no doubt brimming with enthusiasm and knowledge. But the gap between ‘ready for an exam’ and ‘ready for the workplace’ can be a huge leap. Understanding business practices and processes, despite being a fundamental part of day-to-day work life, is not something that can be taught in the classroom.

An apprenticeship training scheme gives a university graduate the opportunity to put their knowledge to good use and plug any gap with workplace-based training.


Put the right people in the right place

A hard-working, bright graduate is a valuable asset to any team. But if they’re in the wrong role, their level of dedication and commitment to that position will be limited. A young adult - one who chose their degree before leaving school and who may have not ventured into the world of full time work before – might have changed their plans and career ambitions. They may need the chance to realign their goals with a new, exciting career that they’re passionate about. An apprenticeship could provide them with that opportunity.

The training available through the Apprenticeship Levy will provide an intelligent, passionate individual with the practical skills to succeed in their dream role.


Create committed workers

Taking someone on as a graduate and investing in their development is a major commitment in modern business and communicates a powerful message. Young people are on the lookout for companies that care about their personal development and long-term career goals.

By putting in the effort to train someone from the get-go, you’re making a statement to potential future employees that you care about their development. It’s this approach that will create workers dedicated to your company and attract the best talent in the first instance.


Develop essential skills

A degree can help to develop a person in a number of different ways, from writing and technical skills to independent learning. However, there is often still a noticeable skills gap for graduates when it comes to so-called soft skills – relating to communication, teamwork and people skills. When we surveyed business leaders about how they plan to tackle the Apprenticeship Levy, they put a major emphasis on soft skills. Of all the respondents, 32% said they’d invest the Levy funds in customer relationship training, 31% would invest in leadership skills courses and 26% said upgrading sales skills was on their agenda.

Although university degrees are undoubtedly important, business leaders are turning to soft skills with more and more frequency. With an apprenticeship, these essential workplace skills can be developed to complement graduate abilities.


They’ll transform productivity

A keen graduate fresh to the industry and passionate about their new career path will bring enthusiasm and energy to a team. With so much to prove they’ll be up for the challenge of hitting all of their KPI’s and more.

A huge majority of business leaders (70%) say the Levy has a positive impact on the productivity of their business and it’s easy to see why. With apprenticeship training under their belt, they’ll be freshly trained and full of self-belief. Boosted confidence and upskilling are the perfect recipe for increased productivity.

Get the most out of your Apprenticeship Levy pot and maximise the potential of your graduate by enrolling them in an apprenticeship training scheme. With the benefits of an academic degree combined with this work-focused training, you’ll soon be reaping the rewards in your business.  Have a look at Pareto Law’s apprenticeship and training courses today to find out more.

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