Apprenticeships can hold the key to a successful future for our students

Written by Investors in People

Article Summary

Investors in People invest in their people, their community, and the thousands of employees within this collective group. Supporting apprenticeships is of great benefit to an individual and an organisation, but also to the wider society, with ‘Making Work Better’ a key driver for us all.

On A-Level results day, a day that hundreds of thousands of young adults will be thinking about their next steps up the career ladder, our CEO Paul Devoy has given his thoughts on why IIP’s community holds the key to the success of our future business leaders.

Paul Devoy

You hear lots of people saying on exam results day to not worry if you don’t get the results you hoped for. It’s true, but not necessarily that reassuring in the immediate aftermath of exam disappointment.

My own personal experience is that the people who did the best economically from the St Mungo’s Class of 85 in Falkirk, tended to be the ones who didn’t do well academically. The top academic performers have been outperformed by those with the most entrepreneurial spirit. 

Both those groups were the exception rather than the rule though. Only 5% of people in 1985 went to university and no one from my Council Estate went to Higher education straight from High School. The vast majority were looking for a job – there weren’t many, so people ended up, like me on a YTS (Youth Training Scheme) for the princely sum of £27.40 a week.

The labour market is now tighter than it has ever been, so in theory there should be much more opportunities for young people today compared to 1985. Employers are struggling to find the skilled staff they need. But I hear many young people say they are struggling to find the apprenticeship they want or not necessarily finding the role they are looking for after university.

It’s not a new problem. The UK has struggled for decades to find the sweet spot between the demand for skills and the supply of skills it needs. The percentage of people going to university now is over 50% compared to the 5% in 1985.

Yet an article in the Economist in April quoted an IFS study that found 25% of men and 15% of women got a negative return on their investment in Higher Education. We also know that with the increase in tuition fees, many are looking at Apprenticeships as an alternative option. But there are not enough high-quality Apprenticeship opportunities for young people to meet the demand.

We invest in apprentices

Holding businesses to the highest standards

In my view, we have a demand side issue. Unless we can support employers to invest in more high skilled jobs and the training to support them, we are not going to solve our productivity puzzle and drive prosperity.

That’s why at Investors in People, we support employers to commit to high standards of People Management and to offer high quality apprenticeships. The thing is, there is no good reason not to do it.

We know businesses with excellent leadership, well trained and supported managers, operating in a positive culture that invest in the potential of their people, outperform the rest. They also help create great, well-paid jobs with progression and development opportunities for the people that work there. That’s why our purpose at Investors in People is to Make Work Better as we know it’s great for organisations, individuals, and society.

About Investors in People

Investors in People have been working with a huge range of big and small organisations from Public Sectors, SMEs, Charities, PLCs and anything in between for over 30 years. We have accredited more than 50,000 organisations and our  accreditation is recognised in 66 countries around the world, making it the global benchmark when it comes to people management. So we know we speak your language and can offer the specific kind of support and guidance your organisation needs.

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14th Nov 2023 | Old Billingsgate, London



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