A new report from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has concluded that Apprenticeships must be seen on an equal footing with university degrees.
The release of the latest figures compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) came out in the run up to National Apprenticeship Week leading experts in the industry to urge the government to prioritise vocational training.
The report reveals that vocational qualifications can impact favourably on employability. It has been predicted that 44% of graduates from the class of 2012/13 will be unemployed six months after leaving full time education compared to only 4.5% with a Level 4 vocational qualification.
The report also found those with Higher Apprenticeships can achieve an extra £150,000 in their lifetime. Although this earning potential is equal to that of a graduate the Apprentice, however, is faced with much lower financial cost.
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “We are making sure Apprenticeships are an effective path into highly paid jobs and higher level learning.
“We are rapidly expanding the number of Higher Apprenticeships. But we must do more, and later this year we plan to amend regulations to allow Apprentices to study up to post-graduate level for the first time.”
These findings demonstrate a shift in opinion amongst employers and the value they are placing on Apprentices. APM has been working closely with employers in creating over 150 Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management places. This now offers school leavers a route into the profession making project management a career of first choice allowing employers to train Apprentices to their specific business needs.
British Airways was one of the first employers to commit to the scheme along with BAE Systems and built asset consultancy EC Harris.
Since the scheme was launched at the APM Conference last June Apprentices have been provided with an ‘amazing opportunity’ to become the next generation of project professionals.
Rolls Royce took on five Apprentices in January and have committed to hiring a further 10 to 15 in September 2013.
This scheme is proving to be a cost-effective way of developing project management talent within an organisation as over £7,000 of funding is available to go towards training costs.
An additional grant of £1,500 is also available to SMEs. The National Apprenticeship Service will provide up to 40,000 grants to employers with up to 1,000 employees recruiting 16 to 24 year olds.
Career of first choice
APM worked in conjunction with Skills CFA to develop the Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management, which is equivalent to the first year of a degree course.
A Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management will provide aspiring young professionals with the opportunity to develop competence, skill and knowledge-sets and make project management a career of first choice.
The aim of the programme is to create new pathways into the project management profession, improve the management of projects and embed vital project skills in organisations throughout England.
If your organisation is interested in learning more about employing Apprentices please contact APM. Alternatively, for more information about the scheme please visit the Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management webpage.