Are management apprenticeships the future?

Earlier this year, the UK government implemented a new apprenticeship levy on large employers to fund management apprenticeships as well as others.

The aim is to significantly increase apprenticeship starts and stimulate productivity growth. Why? UK productivity (GDP/hours worked) lags behind western economies such as Germany, the U.S. and Japan which is largely due to poor management and leadership practices.

Skills formation drives productivity

The apprenticeship levy coupled with generous government funding should boost management apprenticeships at all levels – school leavers, team leaders, operations managers and senior managers – and drive productivity and economic growth. But how will a century’s old, master apprentice, craft based, skills development provide the answer for managers and leaders?

Time to ditch old school models

The traditional apprenticeship model involves young people spending 1-2 days a week off the job attending classes at a local college. This approach is expensive, time consuming, and disruptive and has no place in the digital age. Therefore, the key to success with management apprenticeships is a new paradigm.

The 5 Pillars of 21st Century Business Education

  1. Digital On-Demand Learning. Management apprentices at all levels need access to engaging, mobile friendly content. IAnd it needs to be in bite-sized chunks so they can schedule their learning into their daily work and personal routines.
  2. Workplace Mentoring. The 70/20/10 rule applies. Management apprentices at all levels need workplace coaches to provide feedback and coaching. By using workplace coaches they can apply the formative knowledge they’ve acquired digitally.
  3. Intensive Workshops. Behavioural skills are hard to learn online. So running regular workshops gives management apprentices at all levels the opportunity to reflect, practice and embed soft skills. In turn this will boost their confidence and their capability.
  4. Data Analytics. Create dashboards integrating learning management system data with workplace performance. As a result,  learning professionals can monitor and customise the learning journey for management apprentices at all levels.
  5. Recognised, External Qualifications. Research shows external qualifications boost learner confidence which in turn lifts their work-related performance. Management apprentices at all levels are no different.
Transform Through Management Apprenticeships

The UK government’s initiative has the potential to be a productivity game changer. The good news is the Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI) accreditation framework is embedded in the Apprenticeship Standards. You can learn more here.

What’s missing is accessible, engaging digital content providing the knowledge and self-reflective exercises management apprenticeships at all levels need.

It’s time to use the power of digital disruption to minimise job disruption and drive productivity.

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