Moving on up: management apprenticeships improve performance, drive up productivity and boost social mobility


On National Apprenticeship Week 2019, CMI’s latest research with just under 600 management apprentices shows that management apprenticeships are confidently blazing a trail in workplaces across the UK.

In response to our survey, 92% of management apprentices said their management apprenticeship is making them more productive at work, and 89% respectively said the apprenticeship was benefiting their employers or enhancing their careers. Specifically:

  • 89% say their apprenticeship is having a positive impact on their contribution to the organisation they work for;
  • 89% say their apprenticeship is giving them better career prospects; and
  • 92% say their apprenticeship is helping them to develop the skills they need to be more productive at work.

The survey also revealed that:

  • 78% of management apprentices rate their overall experience as an apprentice positively; and
  • 83% say that ‘learning both the theory and practice of management will make me a more effective manager’.

The survey covers CMI apprentices on the full suite of management apprenticeships, including the flagship Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship and the Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship. Nearly every apprentice on these two programmes (94%) said that when deciding to do their management apprenticeship it was important to them that they would also gain a degree.

Analysis of DFE and CMI administrative data also shows that management apprenticeships are playing a critical role in boosting diversity. Ahead of International Women’s Day, analysis of DFE data has shown that since management apprenticeships were introduced nearly half (49%) of all management apprentices are women.  At the same time, CMI data shows management apprenticeships are boosting social mobility, with just over 2 in 5 apprentices coming from the poorer parts of the UK.

Level 3 Team Leader management apprentice at Veolia, Robyn Donaghy, said:

The biggest impact the apprenticeship has had is it has made me more confident in myself and my decision making. I’ve also applied everything I’ve learned to my job role which has led to me being promoted and having more responsibility within my new role which is so rewarding. It’s also given me more opportunities to use the new skills I am learning whilst on this course.”

CMI Head of Apprenticeships & Stakeholder Engagement, Alison Cox said:

“With over 40,000 starts since 2014/15, it’s clear that management apprenticeships are a huge success story.”

“As the latest CMI research demonstrates, management apprenticeships work for all parties: they provide high quality, highly valued, transferable skills for apprentices, and deliver competent and confident managers for employers, with the skills and knowledge to improve performance and productivity.”

“For apprentices on the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship and the Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship, CMI research shows that a degree is an essential part of the programme. It is for employers too, who want their senior managers and leaders to hold management and business degrees.”

CMI CEO, Ann Francke said:

“We know management skills are key to boosting productivity, so in National Apprenticeship Week we should celebrate the role that management apprenticeships play in closing the UK’s productivity gap. Over 9 in 10 management apprentices tell us that through their apprenticeship programmes they are developing the management skills and practices needed to be more productive in work.”

“Management apprenticeships also play an important role in boosting social mobility and helping redress the imbalance in our businesses and boardrooms: over 40% of management apprentices are from the poorer parts of the UK, and nearly half are women. If the UK is to prosper post-Brexit, then it will be critical that we accelerate and diversify the pipeline of talented future leaders.”

Author: Editorial Team

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