A new survey has found that a majority of employers are planning to rebrand their graduate schemes as apprenticeship programmes following the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April.
The insight comes from a new report from BPP Professional Education’s poll of leading organisations, which revealed that 53% of professional organisations say they will repackage existing training schemes as apprenticeships in order to derive the maximum benefit from the new regime
It’s a finding that hasn’t gone down well with, among others, the CIPD, where skills adviser Elizabeth Crowley, said: “We’re very concerned about the rebranding approach that these employers are wanting to adopt. Graduate recruitment schemes form a very particular function in the labour market in terms of giving young people access to professional-level jobs. The schemes are not, in our view, something that should be converted to apprenticeship schemes unless they were changed considerably.
Crowley said the UK labour market needed much stronger vocational and technical routes and argued that “Apprenticeships should be a way for people to gain high-level technical skills. The idea that someone with a degree, who has therefore already invested considerably in their education, would want to do an apprenticeship at a potentially lower level than what they already have isn’t the way we believe apprenticeships should be used.”