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Forging new pathways – The Open University’s flexible route to develop future nurses

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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