Mapping the path of professional development for employees is not an easy task. At a high level, Learning and Development teams or HR departments must align the ‘people’ with the planned strategic future of the business whilst, in parallel, balancing the goals and performance of the individual members of staff towards their own personal objectives.
Identifying suitable training opportunities for both personal and professional development also involves searching for programmes, managing training budgets and monitoring what added-value is brought back into the business from courses and programmes attended. This all adds complexity to the annual professional development review, regardless of the size or sector of an organisation.
With the introduction of the Apprenticeship levy back in 2017, organisations of all sizes have a new funded way in which to support employee development including study at degree level which has the added benefit of also being work based.
Opportunities for new or exisiting staff in any size of organisation
Designed not only for new recruits into a business, Apprenticeship degrees offer all employees a chance at University study including those who perhaps did not have the opportunity or desire before or have branched off into a new area from their original degree.
For new recruit taken straight from school, qualifications continue to be the main requirement for admission and admission requirements are course-dependant. For existing employees, a mix of qualifications and/or work experience is considered. Strathclyde have adopted a flexible approach to admission with each applicant being considered on their own merits. This also ensures our Apprenticeship cohorts are from a mix of backgrounds and levels of experience which also supports vital peer to peer learning.
A streamlined nomination process
Once an organisation has identified potential Apprenticeship degree candidates, be that through an annual review process or as a new recruit into the business, we ask that they submit a Nomination Form for each individual. This allows us to find out more about that individual’s background, what is their motivation for study and how the employer plans to support them throughout their degree. It also ensures that we understand the nominee’s job role within the organisation and guarantees that they will be able to complete the required work based elements of the Apprenticeship programme. As these are work based degrees, it is essential that there is the opportunity for the work based learning elements and assessment to be undertaken.
During nomination, we also share with employers and nominees the details of our Tripartite Agreement allowing them to see from the outset what their responsibilities are and what we commit to as the institution delivering the degree. The success of Apprenticeships relies heavily on that three-way agreement and all parties doing what is required of them so we like to be upfront about the commitment and expectations, that way no one goes into the degree unsure. An Apprenticeship degree is not a ‘light’ version of study or an easy option. If anything balancing study with a job and a personal life can be challenging and we do all that we can to support our learners from the outset and throughout their programmes.
Once received by our Programme Leads, nominations will be reviewed and a decision will be made on whether the nominee will progress and be invited to complete any pre-entry assessments or be invited to apply for admission to the programme. If the nominee is not at the right stage, we will suggest ways in which they can develop their application for future programmes and we can work with employer partners to support that preparation.
Guidance every step of the way
To help employers and nominees, we have created seperate Employer and Applicant Guidance which detail each stage of our process, when these occur and why we request particular information. Supporting employer partners and their nominees - our potential future learners – is essential for us.
We want the process of deciding to embark on one of Strathclyde's Apprenticeship degrees to be a positive experience and as smooth a process as possible. For us, the student experience begins long before embarking upon the first module.
Ready to nominate? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 548 3541.