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Five Step Guide to Establishing an #Apprenticeship Strategy

Step 1 – Align apprenticeships with business strategy

Take a strategic view of your organisation’s future needs so that you can identify the skills you will require. What will your organisation look like? What will your employees be doing in four or five years’ time?

If you can pinpoint the skills your organisation will need to adapt and grow in the future, you’ll be in a stronger position, with a clearer picture of the types of apprenticeships standards and levels you’ll need to reach goals and objectives.

Step 2 – Conduct a skills audit

By reviewing the skills of existing staff and comparing those to the skills your organisation will need in the future you will have a clear view of the training that is required to plug the gaps. Not only will this allow you to create apprenticeship opportunities in your organisation, but you will also be in a good position to plan ahead and align skills with your three, five and even 10-year business objectives.

Step 3 – Take an integrated approach

Take a look at your existing training programmes and map them to apprenticeship standards. Some can be replaced directly by apprenticeships, while others can be supplemented with additional learning. Depending on your provider, you may find they are able to conduct this for you and make recommendations, saving valuable HR and management resource.

Step 4 – Be diligent when choosing a training provider

When you’re looking for an apprenticeship provider make sure you ask a broad range of questions so that you can accurately assess whether they’ll be able to meet your needs – it’s a big commitment so it’s important to get it right.

Do they have a proven track record and experience of quality delivery? Can they help with a proven track record, selection and recruitment? Can they offer flexible learning delivery to make the 20 percent off-the-job requirement in England more manageable? The best providers will come with added value, so pinning down what that value might be is essential – they should be able to support you through the process, making it quick and simple. Providers should also offer support not just to their business customers, but to apprentices themselves.

Step 5 – Support and engage employees

Consider how the introduction of new apprenticeship programmes will impact on your staff. For many the move to a continuous learning environment will present a massive cultural shift so it’s crucial to think about your internal communications strategy. You’ll need to get employees on board, promote opportunities and make sure there’s plenty of information available in order to keep teams engaged and motivated. 

Join this webinar to find out about The Open University’s new Future Nurse programmes.

The Open University (OU) has been providing nurse education for 17 years and is currently working in partnership with over 180 employers to develop the nurses of tomorrow. The OU’s flexible degree apprenticeship programmes and Future Nurse degree provides students with knowledge, skills and contemporary clinical practice experiences for their future careers.

Employers find this model more flexible than traditional nurse education – opening up a career in nursing to a wider talent pool.

Supported and facilitated distance learning programmes for the new NMC curriculum start in Autumn 2020 and are available in Adult, Child, Learning Disability or Mental Health Nursing (subject to NMC approval).

Register now to attend our webinar and ask your questions during the Q&A session.

Phil Kenmore
Head of Government, Health & Social Care (Business Development)
The Open University
View Biography
Wendy Turner
Associate Head of School, Curriculum
The Open University
View Biography

Apprenticeship Statistics

The Open University Business Barometer 2019:

  • Currently, more than a third (36%) of organisations in England employ apprentices
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of employers say that work-based training delivers better results than seminar or lecture-based training.
  • Three in five (62%) employers highlight that offering apprenticeships presents an opportunity to attract new staff, which could help to reduce the amount spent on recruitment costs and increased salaries, whilst alleviating skills shortages.
  • Seven in 10 (69%) senior business leaders report that higher, degree level and graduate apprenticeships are important for helping their organisation to gain the skills it needs. This may be because this type of training equips workers with the ability to apply their knowledge and understanding to the workplace more effectively, which therefore results in more benefits for employers. 
  • More than three in five (63%) employers do not have the talent required to operate to the best of their ability, with nearly half saying the role they last struggled to hire for was a management position.

The Leftover Levy:

  • Of those currently working with apprentices, more than a quarter (27%) say it has been good for their organisations, while one in five (20%) report that it has already delivered significant benefits.

*Source: 2018/19 DfE data – A degree apprenticeship is defined by a level 6 or higher qualification being attached to it.

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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