Digital Leaders

Apprenticeships: Building Skills at Every Stage of Careers

At the Digital Leaders Public Sector Insight Conference this March, Richard Goodwin, MD of The JGA Group and Owen Twidale, Digital Apprenticeship expert, discussed how apprenticeships can build high-level skills for the future in the public sector, at every age and stage of careers. In many cases, they embody the professionalisation of under-recognised modern job roles which may previously have had limited training options.

Employers often think of apprenticeships as an entry-level route into careers. Employing young people on apprenticeships increases the diversity of your workforce and enables you to grow talent within your organisational culture. Higher and professional level apprenticeships can be for anyone at any age and any stage in their careers, providing the opportunity to progress and add even more value to your organisation.

Opportunities for apprenticeships are growing. The working world is being changed step by step by the introduction of new professional level apprenticeships at Master’s degree level.

Great new examples include Systems Thinking Practitioner and Operational Research Specialist but there are many more as well.

Introducing Systems Thinking

The complex problems that exist across the public sector need cross-boundary collaboration within and between organisations. Current examples include joining up health and social care services and addressing climate change.

These challenges require a skillset that includes collaborative enquiry and analysis using systemic models, tools and ways of working.

Masters level Systems Thinking Practitioner supports decision-makers in strategic and leadership roles to understand and address complex problems through provision of expert systemic analysis, advice and facilitation. Typical job titles include system change lead, systemic designer, systems thinking practitioner and transformation lead or simply senior management who need to better understand the drivers of change and decision-making or perhaps more accurately the drivers of organisational inertia and therefore how it can be addressed.

Also at level 7, Operational Research Specialist helps organisations to make strategic, tactical and operational decisions by using advanced analytical methods to understand and solve complex non-routine problems.

Apprenticeships for every career stage

Apprenticeships broadly fall into three categories: entry/advanced level, for those new to a career; higher level, for those wanting to progress further and professional level.

  • An example of an entry role into Data might be the Insight Executive/Junior Data Analyst Level 3 apprenticeship, which focuses on sourcing and presenting data.
  • For existing data analysts who are moving roles or wish to formalise skills the Data Analyst Level 4 apprenticeship will ensure that the job holder has all the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to collect, organise and analyse data.
  • At the professional level, apprenticeships such as Data Scientist come into their own and job holders specialise even further their area of expertise.

In each case apprentices are on your payroll and training is paid from the apprenticeship levy.

Building skills for the public sector

Each year Digital Leaders Public Sector Insight Week brings together leaders in the public sector to discuss what works in digital transformation. This year Richard Goodwin, MD of JGA, gave a talk on how apprenticeships can help build digital skills.

In Richard’s talk he gives an overview of apprentices and, with Owen Twidale, looks at some of the digital and data apprenticeships available today. You can rewatch the talk here.

JGA are a provider of high quality differentiated apprenticeships to the public sector, with a range that can build both digital and specialist skills within public sector professions:

Coming soon!

JGA is committed to continuing to support public sector clients with a wide range of high-quality apprenticeships. Development plans include building on the UK government’s global reputation for digital transformation with the Service Designer apprenticeship, we are assessing Digital Accessibility Specialist and future higher-level policy apprenticeships. For future updates, follow JGA on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Quick facts about apprenticeships

  • Apprenticeships are long term structured learning, offering a career with relevant training and certification
  • Learning includes group sessions and 1:1 sessions with a skills coach, with all learning directly applicable to the workplace
  • Apprentices are on the organisations payroll and training is paid from the apprenticeship levy
  • Communication and soft skills are part of the apprenticeship as well as technical skills

  • Apprentices learn for 20% of their contracted time
  • Apprentices can be any age and at any stage of their career. They can be new recruits or upskilling or formalising roles.