A Head of Product is constantly seeking ways to enhance their team's capabilities and drive innovation.
Apprenticeships offer a cost effective, tailored, and accelerated method of team development, whether you’re looking to hire new talent or upskill from within.
With new technologies and products emerging, and the Digital Product Management role becoming more crucial than ever, a brand new apprenticeship standard has been launched to fill this pivotal requirement.
As such, organisations have a great opportunity to be among the first to embrace it and get ahead of the digital product curve.
Here are three key reasons why this apprenticeship is not just a learning opportunity, but a strategic investment to level-up your team.
1. Structured growth and visible progress
Product management is a field where most learning happens on the job. This can have drawbacks, as learning and development becomes haphazard when it is approached ad-hoc, in reaction to whenever a new challenge comes up in the role.
What if you could have hands-on, business-specific skills development in real time, but with a more structured and effective format?
By introducing a formal development framework, complete with dedicated coaches, your team's growth becomes proactive and strategic instead of reactive and “gappy”.
As a leader, you benefit from this structured approach by being able to monitor and measure learner progress, giving you tangible evidence of your team's development. This allows you to most effectively support their development, and gives you peace of mind that they are being supported.
Perhaps most importantly of all, the seamless support structure offered by organisations like QA ensures that your employees feel valued. Therefore, they are more likely to stay with your business in the long term!
According to LinkedIn, 26% of PMs are looking to leave their jobs within 12 months. Some of the top reasons for this are lack of leadership, clarity and opportunity. Providing a clear and supported progression roadmap and demonstrating investment in your people through apprenticeships can soothe these key concerns in one fell swoop – with positive business impact into the bargain!
2. Broadening perspectives with expert insights
On an apprenticeship, your team will be connected with trainers and coaches who bring a wealth of real-world product management experience. This means apprentices will be challenged in their thinking, allowing them to develop new ways of viewing problems.
In addition, apprentices often work alongside learners from different companies and with different backgrounds, fostering valuable discussion in an environment of shared learning. This diversity of thought is crucial in a field as dynamic and challenging as product management. This is proven; Harvard Business Review reported that companies with better diversity enjoyed 19% higher innovation revenue.
The collaborative and forward-thinking nature of apprenticeship learning could offer your business a slice of that innovation pie!
3. Building credibility and confidence through practical application
A key component of the apprenticeship is the opportunity for practical application in a safe, learning-focused environment. In QA’s unique ‘Discover, Practise, Apply’ methodology, this is the ‘practise’ part; testing out new skills in a risk free sandbox before bringing them to real life business challenges.
Through activities like market research, conducting user interviews, prototyping, managing stakeholders or exploring different delivery methodologies in QA workshops, apprentices can experiment and learn from mistakes without the high stakes of a live project.
This practice builds not just skills, but also confidence. Your product managers can expect to push their roles further, with a newfound sense of preparedness and credibility. Having already navigated realistic challenges in the apprenticeship, they're better equipped to lead and innovate within your organization.
Invest in your product future, today
Investing in a Digital Product Manager apprenticeship is more than just enhancing skill sets; it's about nurturing a culture of continuous learning and innovation. Crucially you’ll be embedding skills for the long-term. By formalizing your team's development, broadening their perspectives with expert insights, and building their credibility through practical experiences, you're setting up your team—and by extension, your organisation—for future success.
Leaders in the Digital Product space have a golden opportunity to be the catalyst for this transformative journey. By embracing apprenticeships, you're not just developing individual team members; you're strengthening the very foundation of your product-led strategy.