A large number of employers took part in a recent Open University webinar which coincided with National Apprenticeship Week.
The session titled: "Blaze a trail by investing in apprenticeships" was hosted by Phil Kenmore, Head of Health and Social Care in the Business Development Unit.
Phil opened the session by going through some of the skills shortages which are adversely affecting the UK economy and business performance. He explained how apprenticeships were a win-win solution for organisations that are looking to invest in growing their own talent and future-proof their business. Audience questions were answered by Angela Gill, Apprenticeship Development Manager at The Open University.
A highlight of the webinar was a guest case study from Anne Ashworth, Head of Pearson Employee Apprenticeships, who explained how Pearson is making a success of higher and degree apprenticeships in partnership with the OU.
Phil said in the webinar: "The OU works with a lot of employers that are using apprenticeships to address their skills gaps and to help improve employee retention and motivation.
"We've had examples of employees that worked in organisations for 15-20 years, suddenly seeing the opportunity of an apprenticeship to gain a degree, but who can still carry on working within the organisation that they love.
"But of course, some employers do recruit brand new people as employees, and that happens at all different levels in the organisation."
We're investing in them, we're investing time, we're investing the apprenticeship levy, so we really want to maximise their future with us. This is futureproofing, it's developing them as employees. The skills that they are learning are the new skills that are really going to help our business in the way it moves forwardAnne Ashworth
Head of Pearson Employee Apprenticeships
The webinar was part of a wider activity in National Apprenticeship Week where the OU shared apprenticeship case studies across social media from organisations such as IBM, Travis Perkins, Barnardo's, Milton Keynes University Hospital and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.