Over 80% of job roles advertised across the UK now require digital skills, but it’s no secret that attracting the tech talent needed to meet business objectives is challenging. Many companies, including Microsoft Partners and Customers, find themselves relying on expensive consultants despite tight headcounts and budgets.
Hiring apprentices provides an effective solution. It’s a long-term strategy which creates a resilient and diverse talent pipeline - ensuring your organisation develops qualified employees with the necessary Microsoft skills to sustain your organisation’s long-term digital success.
This blog post explains the benefits of apprenticeships through a Microsoft Partner and Customer lens, detailing the financial support available (even if you do not pay into an apprenticeship levy) and how to get started with QA’s Microsoft’s Talent Toolkit.
Microsoft Get On Campaign and Microsoft Apprenticeships
QA is a proud Microsoft Partner and advocate of Microsoft’s five-year Get on Campaign, an initiative to help 1.5 million people build careers in technology. In support, we developed apprenticeships in partnership with Microsoft to build technical talent in areas such as data analytics, cloud computing and IT – enhanced with embedded Microsoft content and certifications.
Our Microsoft programmes develop talent who can harness the power of Microsoft technologies such as Excel, Power Platform and Azure. Fully funded through your apprenticeship levy, we recruit, upskill and reskill people at all levels, from essential digital front-line roles to senior digital business leadership. Alternatively, if you are a non-levy payer, QA can help you access funding through the levy transfer scheme to fully cover the cost of apprenticeship training.
Why hire an apprentice?
Fill Skills Gaps
Almost 95% of employers looking for tech talent have encountered a skills shortage over the past year. Hiring an apprentice is a cost-effective way to fill skills gaps in your workforce and grow a sustainable pipeline of future talent. This could be in the form of hiring new apprentices or identifying existing staff who are suited to upskill or reskill to thrive in a tech role.
As an additional bonus for Microsoft Partners, hiring an apprentice on a programme such as the QA Data Analyst level 4 apprenticeship contributes towards your capability score on the Microsoft Partner framework.
Find out more about upskilling and reskilling your workforce.
Diversify your Business
Making your organisation more diverse and inclusive is beneficial for your staff and your clients. The advantage of apprenticeships is that they provide a pool of tech talent that represents all ages, genders, races, ethnicities, religions and other factors.
Studies have shown that when employees from a combination of backgrounds work together, they are more productive and innovative. Similarly, tech companies who prioritise diversity tend to have higher retention and satisfaction rates because people feel happier and more confident in their roles.
On top of this, diverse workforces are also more reflective of the clients they serve, meaning better products and services designed for everyone, resulting in higher customer satisfaction rates.
Apprenticeships boost staff retention and combat high turnover rates. Firstly, because they add diversity to the workforce which increases staff satisfaction. Secondly, because offering training opportunities such as apprenticeships demonstrates that you care about the professional development of employees. This in turn strengthens their loyalty to your business.
Fully Funded Development
The UK government introduced the apprenticeship levy in 2017. Organisations with a salary bill in excess of £3 million put 0.5% of their total wage costs into the apprenticeship levy. The organisation can then use this sum to fund apprentices. If the money is not used, it is lost – so there's little excuse not to use it.
Even if your organisation does not pay into a levy pot, there are initiatives such as the levy transfer scheme, where larger organisations will transfer their unused funds to smaller businesses. A provider such as QA can facilitate the entire process.
Future Proof your Business
Apprenticeships are, in essence, a form of succession planning. They enable businesses to develop employees with the skills to perform the most in-demand tech work long-term. QA apprenticeships follow a methodology which allows learner to discover new skills, practise in safe environments, and then apply this new knowledge directly to their job role.
Using this method, not only do apprentices gain formal training in cutting-edge technology and skills, but they also understand the day-to-day application of these skills in your workplace environment – meaning that they adapt to changing customer and business needs quicker and more effectively.
Find Out More
If you’d like to find out more, we’ve collaborated with Microsoft to create the Microsoft Talent Toolkit, a comprehensive guide which gives Microsoft Partners and Customers an in-depth understanding of apprenticeships and the talent solutions available through QA.
Download the Microsoft Toolkit and discover how you can grow your Microsoft talent and power your potential.