Will Apprenticeships Provide the Upskilling You Need?

Will Apprenticeships Provide the Upskilling You Need?

What are apprenticeships? Despite the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy coming into effect, certain perceptions about apprenticeships linger that could, potentially, hinder its success.

“For some, apprenticeships mean only training for youngsters coming fresh into a job, and are restricted to technical or vocational skills,” Richard Egan, of RICH Learning Solutions, remarks.

“Apprenticeships provide an essential mechanism for businesses to upskill their staff and use training strategically to foster growth and develop leadership skills.


Why is Upskilling Essential?

“Upskilling is a way for businesses to invest in their employees as part of their overall, strategic aims,” Richard explains, “and when it comes to leadership, upskilling is essential.”

Richard points out that a key element in leadership training should be emotional intelligence (EI), citing the pioneering research in this area by author and psychologist Daniel Goleman.


“There is a strong correlation between emotional intelligence (EI)and successful leaders and managers.  EI should be one of the essential leadership qualities that apprenticeships can address”

Richard Egan, RICH Learning Solutions


Apprenticeships present the ideal opportunity to embed upskilling within an organisation. Moreover, the Apprenticeship Levy is not restricted to new staff, but can be used to upskill existing employees.

“Apprenticeships are there, if you use them effectively, to support your entire business,” Richard advises. “You can integrate your current training programme, where its relevant, to provide consistency, so apprenticeships aren’t some kind of bolt-on.”


“The key is to use the Apprenticeship Levy to its full potential, maximising it as a learning and development resource”

Richard Egan, RICH Learning Solutions


“Skills can be short in certain key areas, while also being a vital driver for growth,” Richard says, “so it’s critical that if you set out to upskill your staff you continue to fully support them and utilise their new skills.”


Leadership Potential

“Increasing the number of apprenticeships need not dilute their quality, but rather should be a means of widening their focus, to take in a wider variety of skills, including leadership,” Richard points out.

“The levy might suggest obligation rather than opportunity,” he observes, “but the answer is to maximise their training potential by using them to focus on those areas where a business needs the most improvement to facilitate growth, including the development of emotional intelligence in managers.”

Organisations, such as the RSA, have long highlighted the UK’s skill shortage in key areas, and how businesses have been calling out for more government investment in training.


“The Apprenticeship Levy is a way of answering the need for investment in training ,but only if businesses fully embrace its potential as a means to upskill their workforces and nurture leaders and decision-makers”

Richard Egan, RICH Learning Solutions


To make sure apprenticeships are consistent with your aims, and that the skills they develop match your goals and objectives, call RICH Learning Solutions on 07900 191052 or visit richlearningsolutions.com.