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Training: Steps to getting it right for employees



In our last blog, we gave a step-by-step guide to help employers implement efficient and effective training programmes. This time, we’re looking at the other side of the coin and advising employees how they can get the most out of learning and development opportunities.

Plan ahead

It’s important to consider not only what training can do for you now, but further down the line. Do you hope to progress through the ranks and gain promotion, or perhaps change roles, staying with the same employer but learning a new skill set? Think about where you want to see yourself in one, three, five years’ time – you will find it will affect decisions made now about where you want to be professionally in the future.


Do your research. False assumptions can prevent people considering training options such as apprenticeships (see our blog on busting the myths) – but you shouldn’t let them get in the way of your professional development.

More than 250,000 workplaces across England currently offer apprenticeship programmes, with more businesses incorporating them into their learning and development offer. Ask your employer if they’re one of them and find out if there’s a continuous professional development pathway in place for you as an employee.

Just because you opted out of further education after school or have never considered yourself academically minded, it doesn’t mean your chance to learn and develop is over – it’s never too late.

Consider the benefits

There’s no shortage of statistics to support the many benefits of training and development to employees. Research shows 90 per cent of learners will stay in employment after completing an apprenticeship, with 71 per cent staying with the same employer they learnt their craft with, while 23 per cent of former apprentices had received a promotion within 12 months of completing their course.

As a training partner to a range of businesses and organisations, we’re finding more and more employers are valuing people who are proactive in their willingness to develop.

Showing enthusiasm to learning will impress a potential employer at an interview, while existing employees demonstrating a commitment not only to their individual progression but also the growth of the business as a whole will go down well too.

Apprentice Megan hired by training specialist


Megan Pollington

Preston-based training specialist Jigsaw Training is practising what it preaches with the appointment of business administration apprentice Megan Pollington.

Chorley-based Megan will be responsible for a range of duties, including data entry, dealing with enquiries and administration support, while working towards a valuable business qualification.

Prior to joining the training provider, Megan completed a hairdressing apprenticeship at Runshaw College before securing a role as a stylist, but began to develop an interest in office administration.

Without the relevant qualifications or experience to pursue a new career path, Megan applied for the apprenticeship vacancy, which will result in her achieving an advanced apprenticeship framework in business administration.

Megan said: “While working as a hairdresser, I found my interest growing towards the administration side of the business rather than the creative side, which is what I’d trained in.

“The best thing about doing an apprenticeship is that you get paid to learn, while developing useful skills to help further your career. Once I’ve completed my apprenticeship, I hope to secure a full time administration role.”

Nicola Parkinson, development director at Jigsaw Training, said: “We often remind employers of the many benefits of hiring an apprentice, so by taking Megan on we are practising what we preach.

“Apprentices can help employers to bridge the skills gap, become more efficient and develop a well-rounded workforce. It’s also a perfect opportunity to access fresh talent and grow your business.”

Jigsaw Training is a total training solutions company providing the complete package from training needs analysis through to the design, administration, delivery, management and evaluation of all programmes.

Training: Steps to getting it right for employers



Training is an integral aspect of any successful business or organisation. Without it, employees can’t learn new skills or keep up with the latest industry developments, with negative consequences for employers.

But it’s not enough just to have a learning and development programme in place, it needs to be efficient and effective.


The first important step is for a company to review its existing offer. If it isn’t yet mapped into an apprenticeship standard, then consider the vast amount of benefits involved.

More than 250,000 workplaces across England currently offer apprenticeships, and they’re a proven way of nurturing talent, responding to skills shortages and achieving growth.  Existing employees can complete an apprenticeship too, it doesn’t mean external recruitment is required.


Make sure your training programme is properly structured. Look at each job level within the organisation and develop a bespoke pathway with specific targets in place to meet business needs and certain standards.

This should form a clear outline of what individuals need to do in order to develop and progress to the next level, what is expected of them, the courses available and the qualifications they lead to. It may even result in the creation of new roles.


A key element of a successful learning and development programme is to make it attractive and appealing to employees. Be clear on how will it benefit them, their career path and the place they work in general.

Apprenticeship Levy

A crucially important consideration is that once the Apprenticeship Levy comes into force as of April 2017, businesses with a wage bill of more than £3m will have to pay a levy of 0.5 per cent of their payroll to help fund apprenticeships across the UK.

This means now really is the time to review existing processes and if necessary find out how you can utilise the levy to fund training and improve your learning and development offering.










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