It seems only fitting that the director of the National Apprenticeship Service is herself an apprentice.
Sue Husband is currently undertaking a chartered management degree apprenticeship with the Open University. It is a challenging endeavour, she admitted, particularly as the last time she undertook any formal study was during her A levels, but she wanted to be the best manager she could.
“Apprenticeships are not just for young people leaving school or college – they are also for people already in work. It’s a chance to learn new skills. That’s one of the reasons I chose to do it, and I also wanted to be the best manager,” she added.
Rise through the ranks
Husband started her career with McDonald’s in 1987, as a 16-year-old crew member, whilst studying for A levels, and rose through the ranks to work in a variety of roles in operations, franchising, communications and training.
She said it is important to make sure that employers understand the benefits of apprenticeships. “Employers who have been doing this for a number of years definitely see the return. We need to share those successes so more companies take on apprentices,” she added.
Five key benefits of reforms
Here Ms Husband outlines what, in her opinion, are the top five benefits of the apprenticeship reforms:
Broadening youngsters’ horizons – “I’m really passionate about young people hearing their options laid out for them.”
Tackling the UK’s productivity gap – “We are seeing the benefits not just for the individual or employer but also the wider economy with productivity."
Apprentice alumni sharing experiences – “Former apprentices should go back into their old schools or colleges to talk about their jobs and what they gained from them."
Investing in the future – “Employers should really think about how they are going to invest in apprenticeships for their workforce and develop their existing staff.”
Employers creating standards – “Having employers designing the standards encourages gets them to think about the future skills they will need.”