Feb 21, 2019
One of the greatest changes the government introduced when they launched the new apprenticeship levy was the mandatory off the job 20% training. This off the job training is the time that every employer must ensure that the apprentice will spend away from the desk. That is a whole one day every week doing some form of development that is not linked to their normal day to day role. For most employers this is a huge investment into their apprentice.
I have spent the most of my time explaining and discussing the attributes of the off the job training. Most employers don’t understand it, or get it.
Invaluable Apprentice Skills
Gaining industry knowledge and skills is the most important part for apprentices choosing an apprenticeships. Most don’t want to be sitting in a lecture theatre they want to earn and learn.
In the digital marketing industry this is key as creativity and thinking outside the box can only come when you are away from your desk. Nothing amazing in this world was conceptualised behind a laptop screen. Most were brainstormed or an eureka moment.
Most digital marketers have taken a different path. Not all went to university and not all started at the bottom and worked their way up. It is an industry that needs variety.
Apprentices learn from the best teachers their peers
The beauty of apprenticeships is that they learn from their colleagues and peers and not from text books.
I remember my first job I got called into the MDs office. He asked “Paul why do you want to do marketing?” I sat their and rattled off Phillip Kottlers marketing definition from when I was at University… “well Mr Peirce it is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential.” Well I probably said half of that, but that’s what I wanted to say. He then slammed his hands on the desk and shouted “no Paul marketing is all the jobs that sales doesn’t want to do!”.
From that day I made it my mission to find out and learn what the sales manager / director wanted. I spent as much time as I could trying to understand what, how and why. Some of the greatest learnings I found was when I went out with my sales team on the road… “so that’s how they are talking to our clients… wow I didn’t know that’s what they said… and that’s why we do it that way”
So how do you get this from a lecture theatre, well the answer is you can't.
So as a digital marketer the ability to take time to understand more than what they are doing at their desk is so good. For employers it gives them employees that think differently.
On a daily basis, apprentices can surround themselves by a variety of skill sets spanning the multi-faceted field of digital marketing and knowledge.
I think for employers it is hard to understand as can see the full value of one whole day a day a week. It is so valuable it is what makes the difference. At Apprentify we have developed a full learner journey to highlight what is involved and what employers are currently doing already with their apprentices or staff that constitutes to 20%. Most employers are usually amazed at how much they already invest in their staff.
I personally think that the 20% is one of the key things that make apprenticeships better than they have ever been.