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Personal and Professional Development


Q. What is the benefit of employing an apprentice compared with the cost?

Apprentices represent new talent that can help you to achieve your departmental goals by helping reduce skills shortages and offering a way to ‘grow your own’ workforce. Apprentices are cost-effective because they learn while working on the job and the cost of learning is funded by the Apprenticeship Levy. Taking on an apprentice can create opportunities for existing members of your department to develop their management, mentoring and other skills which bring additional benefits.

To create the best conditions for a successful apprenticeship, time will need to be invested in:

  1. setting up the apprenticeship - identifying the relevant training apprenticeship and approved training provider
  2. ensuring the selection process identifies the best candidate for the role and the team
  3. assisting the apprentice settle into the role and their team with the provision of ongoing support

Contact PPD if you require advice on the process.

Q. Will employing apprentices help the University in attracting and retaining staff or provide an alternative way to address hard to fill vacancies?

Apprenticeships can help to attract and retain staff by offering comprehensive and tailored training alongside a paid position, enabling apprentices to apply their learning directly in the workplace. With apprenticeships now open to new recruits as well as existing staff, this will enable individuals to develop and increase capability internally, improving morale and loyalty. This will help establish the University as an ‘employer of choice’ – an organisation that invests in developing the skills, qualifications and long term careers of its’ employees.

Apprenticeships can address difficult positions to fill, allowing departments to grow their own expertise in that area. Expanding the apprenticeship provision to include higher/degree-based apprenticeships may help to attract talented applicants. It will also help with developing relationships with local schools and colleges.

Q. What is the impact of Apprenticeships for the rest of the workforce?

Managing and mentoring an apprentice is a great development opportunity for existing staff, especially for people who do not currently have people management responsibilities. Providing you are able to give them the support they need, the responsibility will help them to develop their management and leadership skills.

Q. How do I convince line managers to take on apprentices?

In some cases, the line manager may require additional support or training to be able to give the apprentice the care and support they need and advice on how to induct them into the wider team. Remember, all apprentices are different, and therefore require different support.

Contact PPD if you require advice and programmes to assist with supporting line managers.

Q. How can colleagues in the department get involved?

We suggest that each apprentice has a mentor or ‘buddy’. This can lead to a large amount of colleagues getting involved in supporting the apprentice. Case studies have shown that this has had a profound effect on levels of engagement.

Q. Does there need to be a genuine job at the end of the apprenticeship?

There must be a genuine job during the apprenticeship and the apprenticeship must last for at least one year.

When the apprenticeship is achieved the apprentice should remain with you, where a job opportunity continues to exist and where the apprentice wishes to remain with you. Where this is not possible, you and the provider must support the apprentice to seek alternative opportunities

Q. How should posts be advertised?

‘Recruit an Apprentice’ is the official service for posting and managing apprenticeship vacancies in England. This is the recommended route for advertising vacancies. Our recommendation is to:

  1. set the apprenticeship up through an approved training provider (ATP), who will advertise the apprenticeship on the government site The ATP will also supervise the apprentice’s learning, including their training and assessment.
  2. advertise the vacancy on the university website jobs page and all other relevant routes.

Other routes:

  • AV Live - (Apprenticeship Vacancies live) a government online tool that allows streaming of apprenticeship vacancies on to your website
  • Local advertising routes.