Ten steps to making apprenticeships work in a small business


As a small business owner, I know only too well that there is never enough time. The day-to-day necessities of running a business consume every waking hour, leaving little or no room to work on those projects that you would love to do but never quite find the time. Small businesses often give this reason […]

How to combat the looming UK staffing crisis


The UK faces a staffing crisis and as companies continue to make common mistakes in recruitment, it’s time to consider what can be done to attract new people and retain current employees. Multiple sectors across the UK are facing staffing crises, which are anticipated to heighten post-Brexit. The hospitality industry for example, which is the fourth […]

Apprenticeships – what you need to know


The apprenticeship system in England is currently going through its biggest change in decades. With new employer-led apprenticeship standards available and the government’s apprenticeship levy due to start in April 2017, there has never been a better time to use apprenticeships to build the talent and skills in your business. If you want to make […]

Why the apprenticeship levy means more for your seniors than juniors


At first glance, the apprenticeships levy for large employers only looks important for traditional ‘apprentices’ coming into a business and entry-level training. But the implications are more far-reaching – maybe transformational when it comes to L&D budgets – and have a particular importance for more experienced staff. The levy means employers are going to need […]

Organisations should approach apprenticeship levy as an investment, not a tax


This is an interview with David Willett, Director of Corporate Sales at The Open University. TrainingZone has worked with The Open University to produce a whitepaper on Higher and Degree Apprenticeships for organisations that want to make the most of the apprenticeship levy. It’s free and available to download now. Jamie Lawrence, Managing Editor, HRZone.com: What’s […]

Mind the (skills) gap – getting the most from the Apprenticeship Levy


The last year has seen significant focus from UK government on supporting apprenticeships. Three million new apprenticeships are promised by 2020, as well as the development of new standards across a further 43 industry areas – bringing the total up to 61 and counting [PDF]. Apprenticeships are crucial to fuelling the economy with skilled, adaptable […]

How to close the engineering skills gap


Companies need to show more imagination when it comes to attracting new talent, says Matthew Aldridge, director of igus UK, the leading manufacturer of energy chains and polymer bearings. The engineering and manufacturing sector has long suffered from crippling skill shortages, and the problem appears to be getting worse. Statistics from trade body Engineering UK […]

Analysing the upcoming challenges HR is facing


April is upon us, and as the clocks have jumped forward we’ve also entered an important period of time for HR professionals. Gender pay reporting has arrived, the minimum wage is changing and the apprenticeship levy is being rolled out. These changes will raise challenges for some organisations however they also provide opportunities to improve […]

The Apprenticeship Levy: making it work for your leadership needs


From the start, 2017 was dubbed a year of change. Whilst widespread political upheaval was a driving force behind this, significant change is rife elsewhere. In the UK, this year we’re seeing somewhat of a revolution when it comes to the skills agenda. Investment in infrastructure and innovation is a clear priority for the government […]

How to get the best value from apprenticeships


Employers increasingly view apprenticeships as a rich source of future talent; securing the right candidate gives an organisation young learners who they can nurture into keen and loyal staff, eager to learn new skills from day one. In fact, the value of an apprentice’s lifetime contribution to a company has been placed at £105,000 by researchers at […]

Apprenticeship levy: how to get the most out of it


The Government has been very vocal in its support for apprenticeships. Over the next five years, it has promised that a further three million will be created. Moreover, new trailblazer qualifications are being introduced to increase apprenticeships’ rigour and their relevance to employers’ needs. However laudable these goals, they create a tension, particularly at a time […]

How businesses can follow best practice when it comes to work experience


While the Office for National Statistics has recorded youth unemployment figures steadily falling, it seems that the number of businesses bemoaning the lack of young people with workplace ready skills isn’t. Research from Barclays found that one-in-five businesses said young people were “not ready” for entry level jobs, with 55 per cent claiming school leavers struggled […]

National Apprenticeship Week 2014 – round-up of content


Facts & figures: The National Apprenticeship Service released research that finds almost half (44%) of businesses in the country plan to take on apprentices in the next five years. Around a third (32%) of those that plan to take on apprentices say this is because they are a core part of their growth strategy.  RatedPeople.com put out […]

What we’ve learnt from 80 years of taking on apprentices


Engineering, IT and facilities services business NG Bailey have been recruiting apprentices for 80 years. In recognition of National Apprenticeship Week, we reached out Frank Clayton, the company’s Head of L&D, and asked for 10 lessons they’ve learnt from the 5000 apprentices they’ve trained since 1934. “You have to invest, even when it’s tough out […]

Unpaid interns: does HMRC’s latest campaign herald a shift in employment culture?


Failing to pay an intern amounts to more than a breach of National Minimum Wage (NMW). On a wider level it can create barriers to social mobility. In 2009 the final report by the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions concluded that the internship process across the professions was not sufficiently transparent. The report […]

Museums ditching staff for volunteers – the result of financial woes?


Over a third of museums and galleries reduced numbers of paid staff last year, while a half increased the number of interns and volunteers. This is according to the Museums Association, a membership organisation, which added that staff cuts were due primarily to a reduction in public investment. “Interns and volunteers have plenty to offer […]

Unpaid intern who sued Sony settles for £4,600


An intern who worked for Sony has received a £4,600 settlement from the company after suing for unpaid wages. Chris Jarvis, 25, worked from 9:30am until 6pm for three months at Sony’s Cambridge offices in 2012, making the 1.5 hour journey from his home in Milton Keynes twice a day. Jarvis said that he thought […]