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Creative apprentices and envoys: routes to employment and participationIn commissioning this evaluation LeftCoast had the following objectives: (i) to explore the effectiveness of the Creative Apprentices and Envoys initiatives in delivering new routes and pathways to professional or voluntary participation in the arts and arts organisations; (ii) to look for evidence of good practice, learning moments, and effective approaches to individual skills and personal development; (iii) to conclude on how effective the schemes are in contributing to local arts sector development, and (iv) to look at the values and benefits perceived by individual participants. A brief literature review, together with participants’ and stakeholders’ accounts, evidence that the schemes provide new routes and pathways to professional and voluntary participation in the arts; that there is clear evidence of good practice, learning moments and effective approaches to individual skills and personal development; and that both Creative Apprentices and Envoys contribute to local arts sector development. The participants interviewed appear to value both the work-based and voluntary opportunities provided through these initiatives.
Employers' experience of Higher Apprenticeships: benefits and barriersThis report explores employers’ experience and understanding of Higher Apprenticeships. It is based on a survey of almost 200 companies and follow-up interviews with eleven employers. The findings suggest that there is strong support for Higher Apprenticeships amongst employers although there are many employers who have yet to engage with this programme. Employers that have implemented Higher Apprenticeships report a range of business benefits, but they were also clear that appropriate funding has to be in place to support these programmes. Employers generally thought that the introduction of Higher Apprenticeships would improve employee retention, help them to train people in the way they thought necessary and would enhance their company’s skills base. Barriers that had mitigated against the introduction of Higher Apprenticeships included the cost of introducing a Higher Apprenticeship programme, the work needed in making the business ‘higher apprentice friendly’ and findings appropriate apprenticeship frameworks and training providers. Companies that had successfully embedded Higher Apprenticeships had typically developed an approach to recruitment which enabled them to identify and select the best apprentices. Companies also set up management processes to ensure that higher apprentices were well supported and able to progress and developed effective partnerships with training providers.