Are Apprenticeships the New Graduate Programme?

For many entry-level roles, larger employers including those across the Financial Services and Legal sectors have relied on Graduate Programmes for their hiring needs.

By making the most of an Apprenticeship programme to compliment your entry-level intake, particularly in areas like Business Analysis, your organisation can see a number of benefits unique to apprentices.

Moulding talent that fits your ethos

A key of advantage of an apprenticeship programme, is the ability to develop the skillsets your organisation needs from a foundational level.

Being able to develop skillsets from early career level means that you’ll be upskilling talent already proven to be a good cultural fit in the hiring stage. This is particularly crucial in a field like Business Analysis, where staff will be working across different departments with varying levels of stakeholder. By developing these skillsets and the right cultural fit early on, your team will be better equipped to deliver in their role within your organisation.

Apprenticeships will also help to nurture progression within your Business Analysis team, developing a renewable pipeline of BA talent. Particularly, as apprentices complete their apprenticeship, and work up to more senior positions. These former BA apprentices are the ideal mentors for future generations of your apprenticeship programme.

Not only do they know the challenges of balancing their learning with their work., but they’ll have a greater understanding of how to apply the knowledge from the apprenticeship programme practically within your organisation. This both strengthens future cohorts and offers personal development in the form of experience mentoring/ leading for more senior staff.

Making the most of your Levy Funding

The Apprenticeship Levy is a levy on UK employers, with the goal of encouraging them to maximise the benefits of apprenticeship training, either through upskilling existing staff, or hiring new talent. Any UK employer with a pay bill of more than £3 million per year pays the levy, but not every employer is able to fully make the most of their levy pot.

The levy offers you the chance to maximise a budget already ringfenced for training, with the option to attract more diverse talent or upskill your existing team members.In particular young apprentices can bring a diversity of thought, that will bring fresh perspectives for crucial areas like Business Analysis. Having insight from team members across different age brackets has clear advantages, giving a perspective that might not be abundant already within your organisation.

Additionally, apprentices demand a significantly lower salary than graduates – giving you the opportunity to expand a team further than a graduate budget alone could stretch. That’s not including the return on investment for apprenticeships is between £26 and £28 for everyone £1 invested – considerably higher than the average of £20 for every £1 invested in further education qualifications as a whole. On the basis of £18k investment (based on the price for the Business Analyst pathway), from funding already ringfenced for Learning and Development – this represents a fantastic return on investment for your organisation.

Retention of Apprentices

As well as an increased return on investment for training – the retention rate of apprentices is found to be significantly higher than the retention for new hires. In a survey conducted by the National Apprenticeship Service, 69% of employers said that employing apprentices improved staff retention.

ISE data shows that three years after joining, 78% of school and college leavers are retained, compared to 71% of graduates. When examining data five years after joining, 67% of school and college leavers are retained, compared to just 53% of graduates.

This increased loyalty comes as a result of how they learn – a combination of interactive training and coaching delivered by the apprenticeship training provider, coupled with a mentor within their team internally at their employer, means that they learn to work in a way that is tailored to their employer. When you consider that apprentices also recognise the investment their employer has made in their skills and future, its easy to understand why they’ll feel more engaged with the organisations people and goals.

Apprenticeships complimenting Business Analyst teams

A good graduate will have the confidence and skills to thrive in their role. But by not implementing apprenticeships as part of your talent acquisition strategy, you can miss out on a whole host of benefits. An apprenticeship programme will compliment and enhance the talent pipeline, by using ringfenced L&D funding. It will boost retention rates across your organisation, whilst giving you access to more diverse perspectives and insight.

Apprenticeship programmes can also cut hiring costs. We offer hosted assessments from our established candidate pool – this can cut down the hiring costs of a graduate programme whilst giving you access to diverse talent that fits your organisations culture.