What are Apprenticeships?
An apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience, along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. This broader mix differentiates the Apprenticeship experience from training delivered to meet narrowly focused job needs.
Why Choose an Apprenticeship?
Around 4.5 million people help to keep businesses running in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. This framework is designed to meet the skills needs of employers by attracting new talent into careers in Business & Administration, Customer Service and Learning and Development, these help to up skill the workforce to replace those who leave or retire.
Business and Administration Apprenticeship
Business & Administration Apprenticeships have been in the top twenty Apprenticeship frameworks for a number of years, with around 20,000 apprentices starting the Apprenticeship every year. This Apprenticeship builds on the success of its predecessor by using employer led, up to date, flexible qualifications which meet the changing skills needs of employers. It builds in softer-skills such as communication, team working, interpersonal skills and the ability to reflect on personal learning.
Businesses face a number of challenges to replace those who leave or retire and to up skill the existing workforce. Amongst these challenges are:
Technological change – in particular the continuing growth of sophisticated IT solutions which are now considered to be essential to effective administration
Globalisation – in particular the growth of world-wide communications, trade and competition (which places a higher premium on language and cross-cultural skills) and the influx of immigrant workers from the EU and elsewhere. An increasing net demand for skilled Business & Administration staff – although the overall size of the Business & Administration workforce is shrinking, probably due to the impact of technology, there is a high replacement demand. Evidence suggests that between 2004 and 2014 there will be a net demand for up to 1.2 million administrators across the UK
Skills Shortages - many current Business & Administration vacancies are hard to fill, often because of skills shortages
Administrators need a broad range of skills to work efficiently and to help increase business productivity. Skills shortages identified by organisations include a lack of office and administration skills, customer-handling skills, technical and practical skills, oral communication skills and IT skills, all of which are covered within the Business & Administration Apprenticeship framework.
Intermediate apprentices at Level 2 may work in roles such as administrators, office juniors, receptionists/medical receptionists, junior legal secretaries or junior medical secretaries.
For further information please follow the Link: Business and Administration Apprenticeship
Customer Service Apprenticeship
The Customer Service Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships in England respond to the employer need for high levels of customer service skills within a wide range of organisations. Customer service skills are transferable across sectors and can be applied to many job roles. The apprenticeships are primarily aimed at individuals whose job role is dedicated to customer service as an occupation.
Employers recognise the key role customer-facing staff play in determining the quality of the customer experience and in increasing customer loyalty. In an increasingly service-led economy, customer demand for better and more individualised service is set to continue to increase. Therefore there is a need to raise customer service standards and increase the supply of people with customer service skills.
Employers have estimated that there will be 113,000 new jobs in customer service in England between 2004 and 2014 and have been using Apprenticeships in Customer Service as a recruitment tool since the mid-1990s. Every year around 50,000 apprentices start their Customer Service Apprenticeship training in England, making it one of the most popular apprenticeship programmes. The need for high levels of customer service skills is evident across all sectors. In particular the Retail, Financial Services, Contact Centre, Hospitality, Sport and Recreation, Health and Social Care, Telecommunications and Travel and Tourism sectors have the particularly high levels of customer service apprentices.
Regardless of which sector the customer service apprentice might work in, they will be learning and understanding the key concepts of customer service and how to apply customer service knowledge and skills in the workplace.
For an intermediate apprentice (level 2) these skills could involve communicating with customers, building relationships with customers, resolving problems, promoting products and/or services, using appropriate communication channels, keeping records, gathering customer feedback and working in a team.
For further information please follow the Link: Customer Service Apprenticeship