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Apprenticeships aren’t just for new employees, what about existing employees?

Apprenticeships are commonly seen as training for new employees. But, with levy pots, why aren’t you using them for existing employees too?

One of the major shortcomings of many organisations is the lack of investment in their existing employees. Listen, we get it, you hire people based on their skills and what they bring to the table. However, if you invest in those employees and offer them valuable CPD opportunities the chances are that you’ll ultimately build stronger loyalty. With the rapid evolution of technology and consumer behaviour, companies must continually adapt their marketing strategies to remain relevant and effective. One of the most valuable investments a company can make is in the training and development of its marketing team. As an employer, you likely have multiple avenues when seeking external training support. However, for all of you larger organisations out there, leveraging your levy contributions and embracing marketing apprenticeships presents a unique opportunity for companies to enhance their workforce while maximising resources.

An Opportunity for Growth

Introduced as part of the UK government’s apprenticeship reform in 2017, the Apprenticeship Levy requires employers with an annual payroll of over £3 million to invest in apprenticeship training. This levy is a percentage of their payroll, which can be used to fund apprenticeship programs within their organisation. However, many companies underutilise this resource, failing to recognise its potential in upskilling their workforce, particularly in the realm of marketing.

The levy is not perfect, however. A major oversight of the levy is that it can only be used to pay for apprenticeship training, not pay the salaries of new employees. So, what if you don’t need, or, can’t afford to bring new people into the business? Well, that is a fantastic opportunity to enrol existing employees into apprenticeships. Here are two quick examples:

  1. Maybe you have an individual who has expressed interest in moving into marketing from another area of the business. But, as of yet, has little to no knowledge or experience in marketing. Well, this would be a great opportunity for you as an employer to invest in that individual and enrol them on a level 3 or 4 apprenticeship. The great thing about these programmes is they’re relatively short term in comparison to higher level programmes, cost less, and give that individual an amazing opportunity to upskill in marketing and contribute massively towards your overall marketing output.
  2. Here’s another example. Let’s say that you’ve got a member of the team who’s been with you for one or two years. They’re a bit of a rockstar but never got any formal qualification in marketing. To show your dedication to this individual, you decide that you’d like to offer them the opportunity to study towards a level 6 degree apprenticeship in marketing. This programme would see the individual working for you whilst studying naturally towards a full degree over a three-year duration. You’re happy because you spend some of those levy contributions, and they’re happy because you as their employer are investing in them in a meaningful way for their future.

By redirecting levy contributions towards training programmes for marketing apprenticeships, companies can cultivate a skilled workforce tailored to their specific needs. This not only maximises the value of levy funds but also fosters a culture of continuous learning within your organisation. Investing in marketing apprenticeships enables companies to nurture fresh and existing talent, infuse new perspectives, and address skill gaps within their marketing teams.

A Manager training her existing employees

Benefits of Marketing Apprenticeships

  1. Utilising your levy contributions for marketing apprenticeships offers a cost-effective solution for training and developing marketing professionals. Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with academic study, providing a structured learning experience without the hefty price tag associated with traditional education or training programmes.
  2. Marketing apprenticeships can be customised to align with the specific needs and objectives of the company. Whether it’s digital marketing, content creation, data analysis, or strategic planning, apprenticeships can be designed to develop skills that directly contribute to the organisation’s marketing goals.
  3. Investing in the growth and development of employees through apprenticeships fosters a sense of loyalty and commitment. Apprentices are more likely to feel valued and engaged, leading to higher retention rates within the organisation. Moreover, the opportunity for career progression post-apprenticeship serves as a powerful incentive for employees to stay and grow within the company.
  4. Apprenticeships bring in fresh perspectives and ideas, injecting creativity and innovation into the marketing team. As apprentices learn alongside experienced professionals, they contribute unique insights and approaches, enriching the overall team dynamic and driving competitive advantage.
  5. In the rapidly evolving field of marketing, skill shortages are a common challenge for companies. Marketing apprenticeships provide a proactive solution by equipping individuals with the latest tools, techniques, and knowledge required to excel in the industry. By nurturing talent from within, companies can mitigate skill shortages and ensure a competent workforce for the future.
  6. Demonstrating a commitment to investing in employee development through apprenticeships enhances the company’s reputation as an employer of choice. A strong emphasis on training and professional growth attracts top talent, positioning the company as a leader in the industry and strengthening its employer branding efforts.


Investing in training for your marketing team through levy contributions and marketing apprenticeships is a strategic decision that yields long-term benefits for the organisation. By harnessing the resources available through the Apprenticeship Levy, companies can nurture talent, address skill shortages, and drive innovation within their marketing departments. Moreover, marketing apprenticeships offer a cost-effective and tailored approach to skill development, positioning companies for sustained growth and success in today’s dynamic business landscape. Embracing training opportunities not only enhances the capabilities of the marketing team but also reinforces the organization’s commitment to fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional development.

Let’s grow your team and build a brighter future for your business

Get in contact with one of our team to find out more and discover how your business can grow through apprenticeships!

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