BCS Meet the Sponsor Profile 2020
Published 9th November 2020
Why do you feel so strongly about promoting and celebrating apprenticeships?
Investing in apprenticeships is not only important today but vital for the long term. They play a critical role in plugging skills gaps, driving productivity and modernising an increasingly digitalised workforce, ensuring that employers’ evolving skills needs are met. Our experience with apprenticeships has shown just how impactful they are, especially where embedded within employers’ talent strategies. That is also why we recognise the achievement of digital apprentices with our professional registration, RITTech.
We want to engage more businesses and individuals to benefit from apprenticeships and help to challenge some of the misconceptions that still exist. There are so many inspiring examples of the value-add apprenticeships give organisations and individuals, and it’s important that we showcase these successes so that others know about the fantastic opportunities they present.
The 2020 National Apprenticeship Awards are particularly significant as we all respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Apprenticeships are central in supporting individuals to secure meaningful employment including a programme of quality training as they start or progress their career.
Why do you feel proud to sponsor SME Employer of the Year category?
We are immensely proud to sponsor the SME employer of the year, as part of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2020 recognising the significant role small and medium sized employers play in apprenticeships across a wide range of occupations and sectors.
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, sees daily how digital skills and knowledge delivered and assessed through high quality apprenticeships enable organisations, of all sizes, and their employees to operate competently, securely and ethically whilst adapting to the fast pace demands of the digital economy.
SMEs represent a huge percentage of the UK’s GPD, and employ over 16 million people and many have been hard hit by COVID-19. We have been inspired by examples of how, even during lockdown, businesses have continued to recruit, train and develop their apprentices – and how so many apprentices have risen to the challenges of working, learning and being assessed remotely.
In recognition of the valuable role SMEs play in employing and skilling apprentices, and the resilience so many have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are honoured to be supporting this category of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2020.
What benefits has your organisation seen as a result of employing apprentices?
BCS is a huge advocate of the value apprentices bring to an organisation. We have recruited and developed new talent through the apprenticeship programmes across several business functions such as IT, customer service, PR and marketing and will continue to do so.
It has been extremely rewarding to see employees grow and progress not only in their careers, but as confident professionals whom we are tremendously proud of. Some of which have been amazing apprenticeship ambassadors, inspiring others through sharing their apprenticeship journey through blogs and videos, events, school careers fairs, TV, and radio. We were particularly proud this year as a former BCS apprentice, now one of our digital marketing executives, led a Digital Apprenticeship campaign, inviting apprentices to think of a digital idea which supports social mobility, ethics or diversity and inclusion.
What message would you give to potential applicants?
To say that there are not enough SMEs aware of the potential benefits apprentices can bring to their organisations is an understatement. Every single SME who enters the National Apprenticeship Awards and advocates apprenticeships is a true champion – by doing so they demonstrate the value of apprenticeships to other businesses and illustrate the amazing opportunities available to individuals. Successfully embedding apprenticeships in any organisation takes hard work and tenacity but coupled with the day to day challenges of running a business, this is no mean feat for an SME.
The efforts and achievements of SMEs in apprenticeships deserve to be showcased. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT along with the professional recognition of RITTech encourages you to take part in this year’s National Apprenticeships Awards, and gain recognition for your digital apprentices’ and your organisation’s achievements.