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CMI call for the Chancellor must urgently prioritise management apprenticeships

managers around a desk

New Research from @cmi_managers – Apprenticeships: Reskill to Rebuild 

According to research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), management apprenticeships have had a positive impact on the success of those organisations that participated in the scheme. However, as the UK government starts to plan the country’s economic recovery, the CMI analysis estimates that even pre-Pandemic there were a staggering 1.3 million employers who were not offering any  apprenticeships.


Demand for management apprenticeships remains strong, despite the Pandemic, with nearly 35,000 new starters in 2019/20. Although the Pandemic had a negative impact on the numbers of new apprentices taking up the opportunity to reskill or upskill, over the last three years, more apprenticeships were taken up but the numbers still fall short of the government’s expectations and hopes.


The CMI recognises the competing priorities facing the Chancellor with his budget deficit, but has evidence to show that these management apprenticeships are a vital keystone to helping rebuild the UK economy successfully. At the start of National Apprenticeship Week today, CMI is also highlighting findings from its survey of completing apprentices which reveals:

  • Three out of five (63%) completed management apprentices reported an increase in their productivity as a result of their management apprenticeship training.
  • Nearly all completed apprentices (96%) said the management apprenticeship had helped them develop the skills they needed to be more productive at work, with communication and influencing (95%); managing themselves (94%); and developing people and capabilities (93%) topping the ‘skills-gained’ charts.
  • Almost nine out of 10 (89%) completed apprentices said their apprenticeship had had a positive impact on their contribution to the organisation they work for.

From a survey of managers in employment, when asked about the efficiency and accessibility of the UK skills programmes and training programmes for employers, only a third of managers said that the overall UK skills system was effective (41%) and accessible (38%).


Ann Francke, Chief Executive of CMI comments:


“This has been a particularly difficult year – with Covid and Brexit – for millions of managers, often inexperienced, who must now manage teams of people remotely and through considerable disruption. They have been forced to reorganise and restructure – particularly for public services and social care organisations on the frontlines of the fight against Covid-19, in the NHS and Local Authorities – with considerable pressure to make difficult decisions at pace.


“Management apprenticeships offer employees an opportunity to reskill to boost their organisation’s productivity and to support them into good quality work. Our research shows that apprenticeships have a positive impact on both the individual and their organisation which justifies the investment. The evidence shows that management apprenticeships create more opportunities which in turn ensure organisations and regions can innovate their business operations, grow their business, hire new staff and be financially secure and sustainable.”


Jill Ablett, Consultant and Director of Medical Education at Royal Berkshire NHS Trust, is about to complete her management apprenticeship in 2021. Jill said: “This pandemic brought on untold challenges for everyone but more so for us working in healthcare; we’ve faced one of the biggest challenges of our careers. While nothing could have prepared us for this, my management training has made a huge difference.


“Those people who were on our management degree apprenticeship programmes have been conspicuous during these challenging times, showing their willingness to step up and be leaders that we need; to make decisions, adapt and make rapid changes to our services and teams, as required by the COVID pandemic. However, the next phase of rebuilding and getting back to a new normal is going to require leaders with even more core skills that apprentices develop as part of their learning.”


Ann continues: “Management apprenticeships are essential for productivity, good quality work and creating new opportunities (especially for young people and low skilled workers) and must remain employer-led to ensure a strong link between training and employment.” 


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