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The Talent Opportunity- AGR Student Recruitment Conference 2017


This year the annual AGR (Association of Graduate Recruiters) Student Recruitment conference took place in Brighton between the 6th-8th June.

This annual event sees a wide range of organisations such as Barclays, Prospects and FDM Group coming together to discuss all topics and themes surrounding student recruitment. There were a diverse range of conference themes this year such as:

·         Market Expansion- from just grads to a wider student market.

·         A buyers’ market for job seekers.

·         Making partnerships work.

·         Data and Analytics and how they change the way we work.

·         The future of work.

·         Strategic Development.

This year saw our MD, Michaela Reaney and Kate Temple-Brown a Strategic Apprenticeship Consultant from Aequalis input their own thoughts and ideas on the new Apprenticeship Levy. Titled, ‘The Talent Opportunity- Maximising the Apprenticeship Levy’ Michaela and Kate explained the mass opportunities that the levy presents. The session focused on school leavers, graduates and existing employees.

The levy provides an opportunity to strategically review your people development strategy from apprentice, graduate level to your leadership team. Michaela and Kate were keen to express that the levy allows you to:

·         Audit and review your people development strategy.

·         Build a holistic approach to people development through a leadership academy.

·         Develop programmes for your existing workforce as anybody of any age at any level within an organisation can embark upon an apprenticeship.

·         Create an aspirational development pathway for your team.

When implementing the levy into your organisation it is pivotal to find out what your levy contribution is, who is responsible for the strategy in your organisation and what development activity can be mapped from early careers to a leadership team. Understanding and answering these three key questions will allow you to take the correct steps to maximising the levy to its full potential.

The day brought to life some key issues and themes that are presenting themselves now that the levy has been brought into place such as:

·         Successful and well-thought out attraction campaigns are key to breaking down stereotypes that surround apprenticeships such as them being primarily for male school leavers.

·         The image of the word ‘apprenticeship’ can be changed through the displaying of successful examples of aspirational role models who’ve been part of an apprenticeship programme at a management and/or senior level.

·         There needs to be more flexibility in the assessment of apprentices and move away from the traditional 1 day per week release to attend college. Instead, a greater variety of techniques needs to be implemented such as learning through E-portfolios, presentations and business improvement projects.

Through the discussion and debate of all these key points it emerged that the key to the successful implementation of a development programme is to use your employees as brand ambassadors that will contribute to your businesses authenticity and will support your internal communications as the representation of your brand is key.

For more information on how you can maximise the Apprenticeship Levy in your business download our new bitesize guide on the levy and how you can maximise it to its full potential.  

We can provide independent expert consultancy and share with you case studies on how you can implement the levy and future proof your business. To discuss this further feel free to contact us here.


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