Ever since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, the apprenticeship landscape has been changing so quickly that many colleges have been left wondering how on earth they can begin to navigate the new reality. Here are just some of the challenges that have been created by the new system:
1. The market is now much more competitive, with training providers and universities both camping out on what was once FE-only territory
2. The levy has changed relationships with many existing employers, and also meant that colleges have needed to explore relationships with new businesses
3. Colleges are having to refine their external messaging to persuade employers, young people, parents and other local stakeholders that their apprenticeships bring good value.
The big question for colleges to answer is this: How can we persuade stakeholders that our college is a good and safe bet for apprenticeships?
Articulating the Impact of Your Apprenticeship Provision
Until now, there has been no real way of articulating the value that your apprenticeships bring; no effective mechanism for going to employers, young people and others and saying, “Look, this is how much an apprenticeship at our college could be worth to you.” This has now changed with the introduction of the Emsi Apprenticeship Economic Impact Study (EIS), with Leeds City College the first provider in the country to undertake one.
Economic Impact Studies themselves are nothing new, with Emsi having conducted almost 100 in the UK’s Further Education sector alone. What is new, however, is that we have recently developed a methodology that allows us to focus on the impact of apprenticeships. In particular, the new Apprenticeship EIS includes:
An Investment Analysis: Demonstrates the return on investment that young people will get by doing an apprenticeship at your college, and that which employers will receive from taking them on.
An Economic Growth Analysis: Articulates the proportion of added value in your local and regional economy that can be attributed to the delivery of apprenticeships from your institution.
What Does This Look Like in Practice?
What this does is allow you to evidence the value of your apprenticeships in a way that speaks to employers, young people and other regional stakeholders in a way that is both clear and compelling. The graphic below, using sample data, shows clearly how this information can be presented:
We can also break down the figures into sectors, giving you the ability to articulate not just overarching figures, but ones that are specific to particular industries, and which can therefore be used in terms of targeting particular employers, or bidding for certain contracts.
Why have Leeds City College undertaken an Apprenticeship EIS?
For Leeds City College, as with other providers throughout the country, the apprenticeship levy has created huge challenges, and has led to the College having to rethink its whole approach to apprenticeships, from how it engages employers, to how it goes about promoting its offer to young people.
With these challenges in mind, the College commissioned the study, in order to have the means to reach out to employers, young people and their parents, LEPs and other local partners with hard evidence of the value that its apprenticeships bring. The ability to be able to articulate this message to stakeholders in clear and simple terms, is seen by the College as a powerful tool which will enable it to rise to the challenges presented by the new apprenticeship landscape.
As Adam Sangster, the College’s SRM Market Insight Lead said:
“Any message we can craft using solid data, which encourages businesses to take on apprentices and learners to undertake an apprenticeship with us, is bound to be really useful in terms of giving us a give a competitive advantage. We believe the Emsi study will be hugely helpful in achieving this.”
You can download a PDF of this case study here. If you would like to know more about how we can help your institution articulate the impact of its apprenticeships, get in touch.