As the UK undergoes a landmark digital transformation, companies are waking up to the power of retraining their workforce
Bdaily Business News


Covid and the retraining revolution - why companies need to make the most of apprenticeships to train up tomorrow's digital workforce

Written By Claudia Harris, OBE, CEO of software bootcamp Makers

According to a report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), it’s estimated that roughly 5 million people will need retraining over the next decade. Between the accelerated changes to global industry triggered by the global pandemic, and shifting attitudes towards switching careers later in life, there’s never been more fertile ground for a Retraining Revolution to take place.

As the UK undergoes a landmark digital transformation, companies are waking up to the power of retraining their workforce — and individuals are opening their eyes to the empowering prospect of forging a fulfilling career in tech. Collectively, we’re abandoning outdated stigmas around adult learning, and embracing the freedom that comes with being a lifelong learner.

Where traditional education routes fall short in providing fast, cost-effective opportunities for motivated individuals from all backgrounds to retrain in tech, apprenticeships provide the solution. Through the government apprenticeship levy, companies can retrain their workforce with in-demand digital skills — either through hiring motivated external candidates, or by investing in their current employees.

Hiring new apprentices gives companies the added benefit of embellishing their teams with fresh, diverse perspectives. On an even broader level, apprenticeships hold the key to solving tech’s gender diversity problem; currently, only 19% of UK tech roles are occupied by women. Through apprenticeships, this number can only grow.

Claudia Harris, OBE, CEO of software bootcamp

A retraining revolution

Because we’re working longer, the world is changing faster — so changing whole careers, not just jobs, has become the new normal. Those of us working today will likely change industry once — perhaps multiple times — throughout our lifetimes. That’s both daunting and exhilarating. In order to take the leap, people need a trusted driving force to support them on their journey into the next phase of their working lives. At Makers, we pride ourselves on being exactly that; a supportive community for brave and motivated individuals who dare to dream big.

Retraining isn’t about fitting a person into a role. It’s about igniting new passions and unlocking your fullest potential. It’s a completely human experience that involves readjusting to being a complete beginner, and leaning into the growth mindset.

The age-old saying goes that a great career fit is where passion meets strength meets market need. To settle into that sweet spot takes a lot of life experience. This is the joy of retraining; for so many of us, our best career decisions aren’t made straight out of education, but several years into our working lives — when we know ourselves, and the world around us, a little better.

Company levies on apprenticeships

Within the context of the pandemic, digital recruitment is skyrocketing. There is £3bn worth of apprenticeship levy to be spent, and so far, less than 1% has been spent on software engineering specifically. It doesn’t make sense. Apprenticeships are fantastic, employer-led programmes, focused on uncovering great hidden talent — and the training is basically free for employers. Why wouldn’t employers use it to fuel their digital talent pipelines?

If I could give one piece of advice to employers looking to train apprentices it would be to look beyond the obvious to find the exceptional. Don’t just use the levy to train and hire people; take this opportunity to uncover extraordinary talent, and to fuel the growth of your business.

Don’t let your levy go to waste. Transform your team for the better.

Find out more here.

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