CII marketing director Ian Simons provides a simple guide to apprenticeships

Ian simons cut out

In my previous pieces I’ve covered the changing world of apprenticeships – but what does it all mean in practice?

Identify the opportunity

Many businesses will be paying the apprenticeship levy from next April. Apprenticeships can be used to support new entrants and develop existing staff. You can recruit or develop apprentices in almost any discipline; not just technical insurance apprenticeships, but HR, IT, marketing, management and most roles in your business.

Find a training provider

You will need to partner with a government registered training provider who can help every step of the way, from accessing funding to helping with recruitment, to delivering the programme. Many are CII accredited and we can help point you in the direction of providers in your geographical area.

Recruit and enrol

There are a number of ways to recruit an apprentice. You could advertise, or use the CII’s website, or recruit directly from local schools and colleges. Developing such links can help create a pipeline of talent. Also, all vacancies appear on the national apprenticeship matching service.


Apprentices should receive a comprehensive induction – as you would give any new member of staff. Introducing them to their new colleagues helps an apprentice feel part of their new team and creates a favourable first impression. Remember, for many apprentices this will be the first time they have experienced a work environment.

Develop and manage

Support mechanisms are vital to ensure the apprenticeship runs smoothly. The apprentice should be clear what is expected of them before the programme starts and should receive regular feedback sessions. Your provider will be able to support you in the design of the programme and in ensuring the apprentice is making the necessary progress.

Feedback and evaluate

Apprenticeships are a collaborative learning process and companies should always take the time to review how the apprenticeship experience has been for all, and make any required improvements for next time. Don’t forget apprenticeships now have an even greater focus on progression and so once an apprentice has completed their programme, there may well be another one to take them to the next level…

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