Government and employers are realising the value of vocational training to the economy. In recent years, the ‘buzz’ surrounding apprenticeships has steadily increased. It continues to draw attention not only as an alternative route to higher education, but also as a means of addressing the skills deficit.
The growing need for government to improve growth and employment strategy has led to the creation of a new programme to boost skills and jobs. This agenda complements the broader aim of reducing youth unemployment and is ultimately geared towards ‘getting Britain working’. For this to be a success, businesses require a workforce with the relevant skills to drive innovation and productivity. Apprenticeships can provide young people with the employability skills and experience they need to build a career in their chosen field.
A recent survey by ICM Research found that employers in England ‘considered qualified apprentices more employable than university graduates. The survey of 500 employers, also noted that the most desirable qualification was regarded as Higher (degree level) apprenticeships. It is therefore evident that valuable exposure to the business environment whilst gaining a qualification increases the life chances of a young person entering sustainable employment.
The shortage of sought-after skills remains a topic of much debate in the UK. The recruitment profession is of no exception and has succumbed to the skills and performance deficit evident in key industries. While recruitment businesses understand the need to attract and retain the best talent to remain competitive, feedback from REC members indicate that many continue to struggle.
The REC in an effort to support and promote smart and sustainable growth has invested in creating an apprenticeship framework for the recruitment industry. As a professional body, the REC is best placed to educate its members and assist in delivering the right mix of skills to help the industry adapt to the changing needs of the labour market.
We have developed Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships in Recruitment, in conjunction with the CFA (our Skills Council) and other stakeholders. We are confident that the industry will benefit from these apprenticeships and have received substantial interest and commitment from the consultations and industry as a whole. The purpose and learning outcomes of the qualifications and apprenticeships will give the learners the knowledge and competencies to demonstrate themselves as professionals within a very successful industry. Richard Charnock, Head of IRP and Qualifications