Keeping your top talent – how the new apprenticeships can play a part in your talent and retention strategy

Keeping your top talent

For many internal talent and recruitment professionals, attracting and keeping your top talent is critical to success.

But the ‘war on talent’ doesn’t need to be the burden of recruitment teams alone. In organisations where HR, Recruitment and Learning and Development work together with a clear common purpose they also jointly share responsibility for attraction and retention. So, things like benefits packages, wellbeing policies and management culture all play their part in making a role attractive or keeping someone from being tempted elsewhere.

So what has this got to do with the new Apprenticeships?

In May 2017, all the funding and eligibility criteria changed for apprenticeships opening a vast array of development programmes to the whole workforce from trainee up to CEO.

What is less obvious is how the new apprenticeships can be used to retain valuable staff across the organisation.

MBAs and degrees are still a relatively new addition to the apprenticeship offering and some employers are nervous about using them to recruit new roles given the long-term commitment required.

On the other hand, these higher level longer programmes are becoming very popular for existing employees for several reasons:

  • There may have already been plans to support key talent with further studies so the cost saving by using the levy is a logical alternative.
  • MBAs, in particular, remain a very attractive benefit in senior roles and demonstrate a real commitment to development from an employer.
  • An employee is likely to remain committed to the business for the duration of the programme which is often two or more years.

Remember it’s not just degrees and MBAs that are attractive development options to employees.

Appetite for management apprenticeships and qualifications is strong with the level 3 Team leader/supervisor apprenticeship standard taking the number one slot with 6860 starts from Aug 2017 to Feb 2018 and the level 5 Operations manager being the seventh most popular apprenticeship with 2950 starts in the same period.

Of course, there is always a risk that talent is still lost at the end of any training & development programme, but given the cost-effective way these can now be funded and the likely return from what is gained whilst learning, it should be a chance employers are willing to take.

If you’d like to know how we could help your organisation make the most of the apprenticeship reforms, then please call us on 0161 200 1673 or email