The recent Social Mobility Commission report published by the Government communicated that the gap between the rich and everyone else is growing at an alarming rate.
With turbulent ‘Brexit led’ economic times, the majority of the nation are experiencing pay cuts, a rising cost of living and a more disengaged youth.
While the aspirations around Social Mobility are nothing new, the education landscape is also still rapidly changing introduction of degree apprenticeships, parliament debate around T-levels and the drive to increase digital skills nationally, the Apprenticeship Levy and funding changes for adult training which could have the potential to throw targets off course.
So, what’s the impact?
April 2017 saw the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy with UK employers, kick-starting a period of challenge for how this would be practically implemented in business, alongside the increasing challenges of recruitment and retention of the workforce. Individual sectors such as hospitality and food manufacturing also began to feel the early impact of Brexit on skills availability.
While the picture we are painting does not sound overly positive, through detailed working with our Levy employers we have begun to observe many developments which have a positive impact on Social Mobility.
- Using bespoke programmes to develop skills and retain people – working alongside the new Apprenticeship Standards and the Levy, we are working with employers to utilise their levy to develop and retain a national group of managers. As a result, more people are developed and retained by the business because of their qualifications.
- Early careers intervention – with many sectors facing skills gaps, employers are having to look to alternative and creative ways to reach new groups of talent – one being in schools. Engagement with schools in individual skill sets can help to reach young people in hard to reach areas and begin build awareness on career opportunities, to help build awareness of training and skills from an early age. Many of our employers are using schools outreach as a basis to recruit the next generation onto their workforce as the Levy encourages.
- A financially positive alternative to university – for many, Apprenticeships has been reputed in the past as ‘cheap labour’. For our employers, this is no longer the case. Employers such as Starbucks pay their apprentices the same rates of pay as Baristas to enable young people to train and earn a competitive salary. Paid training and employment for many also means avoiding the financial burden of university for many families.
- Using digital to reach out to young people on career opportunities – the era of web and social media brings huge opportunities for employers to creatively communicate their business and what a career might look like to young people. For many levy employers, digital remains a key element of recruiting new talent and putting opportunities in the places where young people are looking.
While more work needs to be done, along with the work of Training Providers and their partner clients, positively The Department for Education and the Education & Skills Funding Agency are also working with Local Enterprise Partnerships to bring together groups of public and private sector employers to improve ethnic representation in apprenticeships in local areas.
If we can support your business with bridging the social mobility gap, talk to us for a no obligation chat today!
0115 975 9550 ● Martin.Knight@remit.co.uk