In 2016, the Independent Panel on Technical Education led by Lord Sainsbury and a number of industry leaders undertook a complete review of apprenticeships. It was a brilliant review and found that, amongst other things, apprenticeships were simply not fit for purpose.
Apprenticeships weren’t providing the value that the public purse was paying for, and they weren’t giving employers a workforce with the skills they needed. Industry panels were brought in to rewrite the specifications for each apprenticeship standard. For digital marketing, the employers who helped create the new specification included Accenture, Atos, BT, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Visa, and Virgin Media.
Previously, very detailed specifications almost told you exactly what you had to teach and how you were able to teach it. This left little room for providers to tailor the programme for each business.
From 2017, this was replaced by a simplified process that fits on two sides of A4 – the core Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviours required to succeed in that profession, whether digital marketing, hairdressing or accounting.
This gives huge flexibility to the training provider to tailor the course to the individual business, and that individual person who is on the apprenticeship – starting with a Skills Gap Analysis and looking at the desired business outcomes.
The standards are regularly reviewed, and employer feedback plays a large role in any revisions.