The Minister of Skills on “transforming opportunities” through apprenticeships
The slow adoption of marketing apprenticeships remains a pressing issue within the industry.
Only 0.8% of the 4,463 marketers responding to Marketing Week’s 2022 Career and Salary Survey studied for an apprenticeship, compared to 91% of marketers with a bachelor’s degree and above.
Given that more than half (57.9%) of survey respondents work for a company with no marketing apprenticeship, the low adoption of these pathways in the industry is hardly surprising.
Minister for Learning and Skills Alex Burghart insists the Government is committed to creating alternative routes to education and working to ensure learning is fit for the demands of the world modern work.
However, with marketers citing a range of issues preventing them from introducing a marketing apprenticeship, from a general lack of awareness to fears about the bureaucracy involved and concerns about the level of talent, it is clear that work needs to be done. be done.
What is the government’s current vision for learning, with particular emphasis on executive learning such as in marketing?
“Our aim at all levels is to ensure that we have high quality, employer-designed learning standards that will give students the skills the economy and society need.
“Learning can play a huge role in this and I want to continue to change perceptions of study after 18 so that young people and their parents see the value of choosing high quality learning, like the ones we are discussing. in marketing, as a quality alternative to traditional university courses.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for people of all ages to develop the skills they need to advance in a wide range of exciting and in-demand industries. They are designed and developed by industry, so they provide the skills individuals need to access well-paying jobs and businesses to build a skilled workforce.
What’s wrong with marketing apprenticeships?
“Increasing apprenticeship placements also remains a key priority, so it’s great to see a big increase in the number of people starting an apprenticeship so far in the first two terms of this academic year – up 26% compared to last year.
“We will continue to work with employers to increase the number of apprenticeship places available, including increasing apprenticeship funding by £2.7billion to help businesses of all sizes build the workforce. skilled work they need.
“We are also working to help more SMEs hire an apprentice through more flexible apprenticeship models, such as the new Flexi-Job apprenticeship program and our online service which allows large employers to pledge funds small business levy.”
Do you personally see apprenticeship as a way for people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds to get into careers like marketing?
“I do, yes. Apprenticeships give people of all backgrounds and ages the opportunity to earn money while they learn, and it’s this combination of traditional study with invaluable work experience that makes it such a great option to get into. a career like marketing. Analysis by the Social Mobility Commission has shown that disadvantaged learners are likely to increase their earnings more.
“Apprentices can develop their skills, network and professional confidence in the workplace, while learning the basic skills needed to meet the needs of business and the economy with the support of their employer and service provider. training.
“To help make this a reality, we are supporting young people through the free ASK programme, so they have the latest information on the options available to them. We are also supporting employers, paying them additional funds to help them hire young apprentices and late-career youth, and by sharing practical advice and tips through the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network.
Has the pandemic had an impact on both the acceptance and drop-out rate of apprenticeships, especially as those made redundant or furloughed may have struggled to transfer their apprenticeship to a new role ?
“Covid has had an impact on the participation rate in apprenticeships and also on the success rates.
“But I am really delighted that we are seeing the number of people starting an apprenticeship across England so far this year rebounding to pre-pandemic levels. We want to see these numbers grow even more so that more people get the skills they need to build a great career and we’re supporting more small business start-ups through our Levy Transfer program and Flexi-Job apprenticeships.
“Pass rates have also started to improve against the new standards designed by employers. Even in normal years, there are many reasons why people do not complete their apprenticeship, such as changes in family circumstances or leaving for positive personal reasons such as getting a promotion.
Apprenticeships can play a huge role in this and I want to continue to change perceptions of studies after 18.
Alex Burghart, Minister for Learning and Skills
“That said, we know more needs to be done to ensure all apprentices have a high quality experience and we are supporting as many people as possible to complete their apprenticeship.
“We have raised the bar to make apprenticeships more rigorous to properly reflect employers’ needs and we are also taking steps to improve quality and ensure apprentices have a great experience. This includes more support for suppliers and employers, and ensuring potential apprentices receive the best possible information, advice and guidance so they can make informed decisions about their future.
We uncovered various barriers preventing brands from offering marketing apprenticeships. What has the government planned to solve these problems?
“We have already taken a number of steps to increase the number of learning opportunities available. This includes:
- Increase apprenticeship funding to £2.7bn by 2024-25 to help businesses of all sizes build the skilled workforce they need.
- Introducing an incentives program in August 2020 to help employers create new learning opportunities and support businesses during the pandemic. It is great news that the latest figures show (as of March 8, 2022) that applications have been submitted for over 179,000 apprentices since its introduction.
- Although we do not plan to expand the incentive scheme, we will continue to support employers with the cost of apprenticeship training and through the apprenticeship levy. However, employers who take on a 16-18 year old will still be eligible for a £1,000 payment.
- Make apprenticeships more flexible to reflect modern employment models and ensure apprenticeships work for employers across all sectors. Examples include the new Flexi-Job apprenticeship program and the incentive for more up-front training.
- Making it easier than ever for large employers to transfer unused levy funds to small businesses – allowing more employers to benefit from the skills and productivity that apprentices can bring to their business.
- We also launched two new campaigns aimed at adults and employers to raise awareness and promote hundreds of government-funded skills opportunities, including apprenticeships.
- Adults who want to find out more about opportunities to learn new skills can visit Skills for Life or contact the National Careers Service.
- Companies are invited to join the skills revolution and improve their performance.
- We are conducting discussions with providers to understand the bureaucracy involved in using the digital learning service and how we can improve the user journey of the learning service, especially for SMEs. Feedback from these sessions will inform future developments of the learning service. »
Although the standards are developed by employers, is there a case for revisiting them more regularly and bringing all parties – employers, learning providers, endpoint assessors and government – to the table?
“The Institute for Apprenticeship and Technical Education (IfATE) has accelerated and improved the process of updating and reviewing apprenticeships, following the example of thousands of employers who are the experts in latest skills.
“There is an important balance to be struck between preserving continuity for delivery purposes and ensuring that apprenticeships evolve as employers’ needs evolve. Revisions to particular learnings may be proposed by any stakeholder at any time through the revisions, adjustments and waivers process.
If we were to talk about this topic a year from now, what progress would you like to see?
“Things are already changing, more and more young people are choosing to do an apprenticeship rather than go to university. I hope to see continued progress in this direction.
“I believe in the importance of universities and the power of university degrees. But I know they are not the alpha and omega. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if in 10 years a lot more people choose to become apprentices after leaving school or college.
“Apprenticeships have the potential to transform opportunities, giving young people a three-year head start in the workplace over their undergraduate friends.
“I would like to see employers and suppliers working together to harness the power of learning to help people gain the skills they need to meet business needs and advance in life.”
Marketing Week’s Opening Up campaign pushes for the democratization of marketing careers. Follow our coverage of challenges and opportunities over the coming weeks. Read the first article in the series here.