• Employers' experience of Higher Apprenticeships: benefits and barriers

      Mieschbuehler, Ruth; Hooley, Tristram; Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby (iCeGS, University of Derby and Pera Training, Melton Mowbray, 2015)
      This 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.