UCL Human Resources


9 reasons why you should offer apprenticeships

Launched in late 2018, the UCL Apprenticeship Programme is already making a real difference to departments across UCL.

people talking in a meeting booth
UCL's apprenticeship levy is available to new and existing staff and offers amongst other things a great opportunity to future-proof your area, develop a motivated, diverse and highly skilled workforce, increase productivity and positively impact your department’s bottom line.

The benefits are enormous. Here are some reasons why:

Early career (entry-level) apprenticeships

1. Secure the best new talent

Our Early Career apprenticeships programmes offer a chance for you to “take an apprenticeship first approach” and ‘grow your own’ talent to shape recruits into your ideal employees. 
We work closely with our training providers and local partners to attract local, high-potential and engaged candidates from all walks of life, with different skill sets and experiences. Current managers have valued their apprentices’ entrepreneurial spirit and how they generate new and cross-generational ways of working, improve efficiency and drive forward front-line innovation at UCL. 

2. Positive long-term development

Taking on apprentices can address current or predicted skills shortages and will provide you with skilled workers in the areas you want most for the future. 

3. Increased productivity

Apprentices make the workplace more productive. The energy and motivation of apprentices who are keen to learn can help inspire other staff. And as apprentices grow in confidence and aptitude, they’ll build their skills capacity so more experienced staff can delegate certain tasks and projects to apprentices. Freeing up more time to focus on core responsibilities and wider strategic matters. 

4. Future stars

We have a long and proud history of apprenticeships here at UCL. Many curious minds and disruptive thinkers who started their careers as apprentices with us, have gone on to become leaders and experts in their field.

90%    of apprentices stay on in their place of work after completing an apprenticeship.

86%    of employers said apprenticeships developed skills relevant to their organisation

78%    reported improved productivity.

Source: National Apprenticeship website

5. Financial gains

It makes business sense. Apprenticeships are a savvy and highly cost-effective alternative to temporary posts or hiring skilled staff, and produce a positive return on investment down the line. In fact, the majority of our apprentices choose to stay with us after completion. Another reason why we would encourage you to think about apprenticeships as the first option for all-new entry-level positions in your department. 

Mid-career (existing staff)

6. Boost productivity and drive change 

Apprenticeships are an effective way to match the skills of staff to the skills you need. Staff develop sector knowledge and qualifications that are directly relevant to their jobs. Consequently, the latest professional education and learnings into practice can be applied as apprentices' progress, leading to improved outputs and more innovative services.

7. Transform your recruitment model

Sometimes recruiting new staff is a costly and time-consuming process. So up-skilling or reskilling existing staff using apprenticeship development levy is a great way to fill gaps by developing the specialist skills you need.

Apprenticeships can help staff develop a clear career pathway progression and support succession planning. High calibre staff, for example, may go on to occupy management and leadership positions following completion.

8. Raise morale, loyalty, and retention

Apprenticeships help keep staff engaged and committed for the long-term. Investing in their learning and development shows you value their experience and ability, creating greater job satisfaction and staff loyalty. And less turnover.

9. Futureproof investment

Empowering staff to train and upskill on the job can help address critical skills gaps and prepare your department for the ever-changing future of work.