By Jason Moss, CEO of Arch Apprentices
On Thursday 28th March, Arch Apprentices won Digital Apprenticeship Provider of the Year at the AAC Apprenticeship Awards 2019. I was especially proud of this achievement as digital has always been at the very heart of what we do. But how have we achieved this?
Back in 2012, one of the UK’s leading venture builders, Blenheim Chalcot, found that like many other businesses – their fast-growing tech start-ups were experiencing significant skills gaps. Arch was then born to address these issues. However, the Apprenticeship Frameworks available at the time were not providing young people with the skills that businesses need. Therefore, we helped develop the first digital marketing apprenticeship in the UK.
Since I joined Arch 6 years ago, Arch has grown considerably. We now provide a mix of tech and support function apprenticeships – all of them delivered in a digitally-focused way. Our digital delivery has been designed to be interactive and bite-sized so that it remains highly engaging throughout the programme. Online webinars are hosted on an industry-leading technology platform that encourages learners to interact with each other while supporting the tutor to keep the class engaged. Arch’s learners receive the very best digital learning experience, which enables our apprentices to blend their learning into their day-job. Our apprentices get access to exclusive technology, including 12-month Tableau licenses on the analyst programmes and the Hive Learning app, which acts as their ePortfolio. This allows learners the flexibility to continue to achieve in their role, which completing their apprenticeship requirements.
“I never thought in a million years (at the age that I am now) that I’d be doing an apprenticeship, whilst working full-time with two young children. […] It’s not just for entry-level roles but helps you gain the theory behind what you are already doing, giving you that foundation on best practice. I have learnt so much in just a short space of time.”
– Chetna Kerai, HR Consultant Apprentice
Our metrics speak for themselves, with a 95% learner and employer satisfaction rate and 50% of our IT apprentices achieving distinction at End Point Assessment. Our 97% successful destination rate is a testament to not only the education that our learners receive but also how much care is taken into ensuring the right apprentice is on the right programme and at the right employer. What comes out is an extremely capable individual that is loyal to their employer and thoroughly enjoys the industry they work in.
“Mila [her apprentice] has achieved more in her 10 months with us than I ever thought an apprentice would be able to do”
Liz Haas, EMEA Head of Client Insight at IPG Mediabrands
We have been able to use apprenticeships to help digitally transform businesses from the ground up. As our Group CEO Mark Creighton comments in CEO Today Magazine, one of the pieces of feedback we receive from clients is the value that apprentices have brought to developing new thinking and helping to drive innovation to their business. In a number of instances, it is where leaders asked what apprentices thought about how the organisation could evolve their digital agenda. That simple action has brought invaluable insight, but also evidenced the digital ambitions of the organisation and inspired the engagement and empowerment that our youngest talent value.
The combination of powerful learning technologies and a passionate team of experts results in an engaged community of future leaders that revolutionise their teams and employers. With increasing tuition fees and an oversaturation of degrees, young people are quickly looking towards work-based learning as their first choice to achieving the career they’re looking for. What they’re not looking for is to go back to sitting in a classroom once a week – they want to learn using tech that reflects what they use on a daily basis. The levy has put apprenticeships at the forefront of employer’s minds but with flexible working slowly growing in workplaces – digital learning is becoming the ideal talent development solution.
Arch would like to thank AAC and the AELP for choosing us as Digital Apprenticeship Provider of the Year and we hope to continue to develop more digital natives. If you want to find out how our digital approach can help your business, get in touch here.