According to recent research, apprenticeships can have a significant impact on how U.K. companies are maximizing their potential for future success. Read on to discover the impact you can have by working with an organisation as an apprentice.’s 2019 L&D report revealed some key ways that U.K. companies are maximising the potential of apprenticeship programmes. Apprenticeships are an exciting way to establish an organisation’s incoming talent pipeline. Furthermore, apprentices secure longevity for many businesses by filling skills gaps across industries.

According to the report, 60% of companies who are making use of their Apprenticeship Levy funds are confident that they’ve established a sustainable pipeline of incoming talent. Even for organisations who don’t pay into the Levy, the government can contribute up to 90% of the cost of training through the co-investment scheme.

But how exactly will pursuing a degree apprenticeship impact the organisation you work for? By entering into a degree apprenticeship programme, both you and your employer will have to consider how your relationship can develop and grow throughout your apprenticeship.


Let’s explore the organisational impact that you’ll have as a degree apprentice!

Establishing a Talent Pipeline

Losing employees is a huge financial loss, and offering degree apprenticeships is a great way for organisations to secure a talent pipeline over the long term. Degree apprenticeships last for a set amount of time (three to six years), and both you and your employer are making a significant investment into your time as an apprentice.

Whether you’re a new student or an existing employee entering into a degree apprenticeship, your employer can work within the period to set clear goals and expectations for what you should be gained out of your role.

According to the report, it takes 28 weeks to get any employee fully up to speed on the inner workings of any given firm. Furthermore, companies that focus on engagement with their employees have the potential to reduce staff turnover by a whopping 87%.

Sue Davison, Apprentice Levy Project Manager at Sodexo explains that since implementing an apprenticeship training programme, Sodexo is “attracting new people to those roles and we’re retaining people for longer because we’re developing them through a structured ... programme.”

By taking on a degree apprentices, employers will increase retention and decrease the sometimes cripplingly high cost of turnover. Degree apprenticeships can help employers both bring on new, highly skilled recruits and train-up existing employees. No two employers are the same but given their investment there’s a significant chance that your apprenticeship will translate into ongoing employment at the company, or development into a new role.

Plugging the Skills Gap

The report found that one-third of the U.K.’s working adults will be over 50 come 2020, and more than one-quarter will be over 65 within the next 20 years. This presents a critically important opportunity for apprentices to learn the right skills to enter or develop within the shifting demographics of the U.K workforce. The Apprenticeship Levy initiative was initially launched to provide financial support to the government’s promise to get 3 million apprentices into the U.K. labour market by 2020.

Pursuing a degree apprenticeship is one of many ways to improve your employability while you’re studying, and may be the most efficient way to illustrate to employers that you’ve learned applicable skills while completing your higher education. The skills gap left by the ongoing baby boomer exodus from the U.K. workforce is no trade secret, and employers are eager to embrace anyone who’s willing to learn new skills and broaden their horizons, whether you’re a student or an existing employee.

More and more digital natives are continuing to reach the point where they’ll be considering a university education. However, degree apprenticeships offer you the unique opportunity to learn whilst working. The decision between entering the workforce and pursuing an education is made significantly easier with degree apprenticeships - you can do both!

Furthermore, your existing technological skills and perspectives may come naturally to you, but they’re more valuable to employers than you may realize. In her experience with apprentices, Becca Thurston from Wessex Water finds that, “Their use of technology is amazing, and you have the opportunity to promote cross-generational learning when you hire apprentices.”

As a degree apprentice you’ll not only be learning every day, but you’ll also bring contemporary perspectives, ideas, and techniques into your organisation that your employer may not have otherwise considered.

The Takeaway

Degree apprenticeships are a mutually beneficial relationship and investment between you and your employer.

As a degree apprentice you’ll leave your studies debt-free and armed with soft skills that are highly valued by companies around the world. In a similar 2019 L&D report from, 45% of employers planned to emphasise soft skills training in their L&D programmes. Degree apprenticeships will put you well ahead of the curve compared to other students without the work experience you gained through your studies.

Throughout your apprenticeship, you will have added immeasurable value to your role by contributing new ideas, participating in cross-generational learning with existing employees, and illustrating the merit of the degree apprenticeship talent pipeline for future apprentices to come. Taking on a degree apprentice is a huge investment from an organisation, and your impact as an apprentice can serve as the perfect launch point into achieving your new or developing career goals.

Max Maccarone is a content editor for the higher education portal and professional development search engine Originally from Canada, Max relocated to Stockholm after graduating from York University in Toronto. An avid traveller, Max is dedicated to creating diverse and engaging learning and development content for a wide-range of publications.