Exploring apprenticeship programme best practice

6 min read time

To celebrate all things apprenticeships during this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, we teamed up with our employer partners to host a webinar on exploring apprenticeship best practice.

From unlocking opportunities for all, to life-changing training, measuring the positive impacts on both people and business and boosting stakeholder engagement, we discuss our partners’ and learners’ success stories, across a variety of different sectors.

Hear from Lifetime’s Commercial Director, Matt Robinson, who discusses with a few of our partners how we work together to maximise their investment in apprenticeships. From our October 2022 Employer Survey, we can report that:

agreed that apprenticeships increased the competence of their workforce
agreed that apprenticeships increased the productivity of their employees
agreed that apprenticeships support them in filling skills gaps

Watch the full webinar on-demand here


Live speakers from the webinar

Hear from our live speakers or choose the individual pre-recorded interviews below.

Driving Wolseley’s skills strategy

Joanna Shipley, Apprenticeship Lead at Wolseley, talks about how apprenticeships help retain and develop talent within their business. Together, we explore how its programme supports Wolseley’s business objectives and drives its overarching skills strategy.

“Apprenticeships really do support us in developing and retaining talent at Wolseley and we see people enhancing their career in the direction they choose. We recently looked at the numbers, for everyone who has been through a professional qualification and found that 37.5% received a promotion. So, there is clear evidence on how apprenticeships are supporting our people to develop their careers.”

Joanna Shipley, Apprenticeship Lead at Wolseley

Attracting talent at Nuffield Health

We asked Apprenticeship Specialist at Nuffield Health, Mark Forder, about the key benefits of apprenticeships for them. We explore how apprenticeships allow Nuffield Health to mold a talent pipeline that meets the needs of their business, while also contributing to attraction and retention across many different roles.

“There are so many benefits with apprenticeships. But there are some big hitters for me. I think apprenticeships offer that unique learning experience that you don’t tend to get with more traditional methods of learning. It’s the flexibility between normal working responsibilities and the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills that enable people to perform effectively within their roles.”

Mark Forder, Apprenticeship Specialist at Nuffield Health

Supporting off-the-job training at Bright Horizons

James Sharrod, Pathways Manager at Bright Horizons, discusses how they support apprentices with off-the-job training, in a sector where it’s particularly difficult to release staff. We explore Bright Horizons’ best practice for managing apprentices’ training hours and how they work through the complexities of supporting apprentices in a highly regulated environment.

“We’ve upskilled our pathway team who support our managers. We make sure that they’ve all had coaching training themselves to be able to support our managers – and be able to coach them in terms of the best ways to support with OTJ. We’ve found this to be really successful: anywhere that we are having problems or struggling to get OTJ, we’ve found real benefits.”

James Sharrod, Pathways Manager at Bright Horizons

Hear from more employers

Lifetime works with a variety of UK businesses, delivering industry-leading apprenticeship programmes that bring real, measurable benefits. Find out what our partners have to say.

Celebrating apprenticeship success at Bupa

We spoke with Becki Watson, Apprenticeship Manager at Bupa, about aftercare best practice for apprenticeships. From celebrating success to supporting career development, we discuss the organisation’s three focus areas: the critical role of manager support for ongoing development, utilising stakeholders as sponsors for recognition and encouraging development during annual performance conversations.

“At Bupa, we offer a variety of apprenticeships to suit the needs of different business areas. We can now offer H&SC-specific programmes from Level 2-5, as well as Production Chef, Housekeeping, Customer Service, Leadership programmes and a suite of Data programmes. For us, this creates a healthy portfolio of programmes on offer, which all equates to having around 1,200 learners currently on programme.”

Becki Watson, Apprenticeship Manager at Bupa

Prioritising apprenticeships at The Salvation Army

Kate Burke, Apprenticeship Development Manager at The Salvation Army, discusses how vital it is to invest the levy where it’s needed most. We discuss how important it is to gain stakeholder engagement, especially in situations where there are limited resources.

“Over the last few years, we’ve been able to identify areas within The Salvation Army where apprenticeships can bring added value. This training not only develops individual skills and knowledge, but also enhances the service our colleagues provide to others. We’ve partnered with training providers to deliver a range of leadership and management apprenticeship programmes, but most recently, we’ve worked with Lifetime to create a bespoke apprenticeship pathway that can develop those that work in our homelessness services across England.”

Kate Burke, Apprenticeship Development Manager at The Salvation Army

Growing home-grown talent at Pret a Manger

We also spoke with Daksha Stancilas, Talent and Development Manager at Pret a Manger, about the key benefits of apprenticeships for young adults, but also how important it is to develop transferable skills and make sure the strategy is aligned with business objectives.

“Pret have internal pathways which show clear ways in which they can progress. These employees might join as team members, but with an apprenticeship, are equipped to learn everything it takes to operate shops. Then we look at how we can build on those skills to become a Barista or Chef – and grow as a leader. We want to build future leaders for Pret, so our aspiration is to support young people to become a General Manager, running their own shop, but also being qualified at the same time.”

Daksha Stancilas, Talent and Development Manager at Pret a Manger

Apprenticeships designed to recruit and retain at Choice Care

Niki Yates, Senior HR Business Partner at Choice Care, explores how apprenticeships support the development and progression of its managers. Niki also discusses how its Level 5 Leadership programme has not only accelerated retention rates and the development of skilled staff members, but also means their teams meet requirements for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) too.

“Adult Social Care, as an industry, has had real problems attracting and also retaining our staff. So, we created a people strategy that focuses on this; for our social care workers in particular, but also the rest of our staff members. We partnered with Lifetime to launch our apprenticeship academy. It’s been absolutely vital to our people strategy, but also recruiting and attracting. We’ve been able to offer apprenticeship opportunities to all staff members as soon as they start, as well as existing staff too.”

Niki Yates, Senior HR Business Partner at Choice Care

Measuring apprenticeship impact at Care UK

Head of Learning and Development at Care UK, Nikki Evans, discusses how the business leverages Lifetime’s Impact Evaluation Service to find out exactly where its programme is a success. We also explore its top-down approach to apprenticeships, and the power that stakeholder and manager engagement has to ultimately create exceptional resident care.

“It can be tricky to really prove the ROI of apprenticeships. But with services like Lifetime’s Impact Evaluation reports, we can start to see how colleagues feel about their apprenticeship, how valuable they’ve found them and whether they’re likely to stay with our business moving forward. We can also really see what the retention rates are like, and it has been proved that those on apprenticeships are staying with Care UK for longer. Of course, ths can only have a great benefit when it comes to our resident care.”

Nikki Evans, Head of Learning and Development at Care UK

Empowering Line Manager engagement at Places Leisure

Craig Dyche, Learner Development Partner at Places Leisure, evaluates how apprenticeships are an integral part of its overall people strategy. Craig talks to us about the importance of empowering managers on the front line, to understand the needs of their site and uncover the development needs of their team members. Teamed with a Lifetime coach, expert advice is always on-hand, so learners are on the right programme, at the right time.

“Apprenticeships are a really important part of developing our people, to help continue that investment through utilising our levy to develop our talent, provide career pathways and internal opportunities and promotions. To us, this makes it really inclusive and is how we can engage all of our people. It’s really important that we have a lot of multi-skilled roles within our sites and facilities, so it’s a great opportunity for our colleagues to develop new knowledge and skills and also stay with us through new opportunities in their career – retention is really key.”

Craig Dyche, Learner Development Partner at Places Leisure

Unrivalled management buy-in at B&Q

We spoke with Jo Vincent, Colleague Capability and Apprenticeship Manager at B&Q, to explore best practice for getting leadership teams on-side. From effectively communicating to gaining support from operational teams, Jo discusses how a close partnership with Lifetime helps them to gain buy-in across the business.

“We’ve been working really closely with Lifetime to communicate effectively with leadership teams, to really gain their buy-in. We couldn’t do it without Lifetime. Because we’re based all over the country, Lifetime’s coaches help us to build relationships with our operational teams. My HR Board Director was absolutely blown away with the fact that the Engagement Leads have been to absolutely every single store in the UK – they could not believe the support Lifetime has given us.”

Jo Vincent, Colleague Capability and Apprenticeship Manager at B&Q
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Built on trust, developed collaboratively, and delivered by experts. It’s why the UK’s biggest employers choose Lifetime programmes. Want to find out more about how we work with our partners?

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