Apprenticeships, from level 2 through to level 7, have opened up many opportunities for upskilling existing staff. They have paved the way for an alternative route for training and career progression, as well as new roles. By offering staff the option to upskill and re-skill on the job gives employers the ability to address critical skills gaps and prepare their workforce for future roles. Companies who are maximising the Levy funds available to them are utilising these programmes to increase the productivity and profitability of their workforce.

Whether an employee has a degree in a different discipline, doesn’t really matter. They could still be eligible to gain new skills through a degree apprenticeship.

There are many benefits of investing in your workforce’s development, one of which is, it can make them feel appreciated, which in turn increases motivation, improves job satisfaction and encourages a greater sense of loyalty. In a survey conducted by CV Library, over two thirds of professionals would take a lower salary in return for sponsorship of a recognised qualification from their employer. Examples of accredited qualifications that can be accessed via apprenticeships include ILM, CIPD, CII, APM and AAT.

Traditional preconceptions that apprentices can only be entry-level school leavers have completely shifted since the apprenticeship reforms. With the employer-led redesign of standards, apprenticeships are now highly valued training programmes and an alternative education route, which holds emphasis on quality, knowledge and practical skills.

In this guide, we'll explore what apprenticeship standards you could use to upskill your management team. 

Level 6 chartered manager degree apprenticeship standard

The level 6 standard is designed for professional managers in the private, public or third sector.  Specific job roles may include: manager; senior manager; head of department; operations manager; or anyone with significant management responsibilities.

It has been developed by some leading organisations such as:

  • Barclays Bank
  • Boots UK Ltd
  • BBC
  • Santander UK plc

It aims to give staff a good grounding in a range of disciplines including:

  • Strategic decision making
  • Developing skills and motivating others
  • Financial management
  • Developing stakeholder relationships

The standard typically takes four years to complete and sits in funding band 30, with a maximum cap of £27,000 per apprentice.

Level 3 team leader/supervisor apprenticeship standard

The level 3 standard includes the level 3 ILM diploma and is ideal for people in a line management and/or coaching role, who are responsible for providing direction, instructions and guidance to a team to ensure the achievement of set goals. Many companies have utilised this standard to embed strategic core management principles to their line managers and senior supervisors.

It has been developed by some of the largest businesses such as:

  • HMRC
  • BBC
  • Sainsburys
  • Co-Operative Plc

Topics covered:

  • Communication
  • Building Relationships
  • Finance
  • Decision Making

The standard typically takes 18 months to complete and sits in funding band 7, with a maximum cap of £5,000 per apprentice.


Level 5 HR Consultant/Partner Apprenticeship Standard

The level 5 standard contains options for HR specialisms and for people management responsibilities. Successful completion of this standard enables the apprentice to apply to become an associate member of the chartered institute of personnel and development. Learners will complete the Level 5 CIPD Diploma in Human Resource Management. Chartered membership can be achieved through further qualifications or experience-based assessment.

This apprenticeship could be an entry level role to the business, however, it is more likely to be a progression from a lower level role or apprenticeship, building on the knowledge and skills gained in that role or apprenticeship.

It has been developed by some big companies such as:

  • Marks and Spencer’s
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Yorkshire Building Society
  • McDonald’s UK

The standard typically takes 24 months to complete and sits in funding band 12, with a maximum cap of £9,000 per apprentice.

New funding bands

The apprenticeship funding system will now include 30 funding bands effective from 1 August 2018, with the upper limit of those bands ranging from £1,500 to £27,000. Any apprenticeships that started before this date will continue to be funded under the rules that applied when they started.

The new structure will look like this:




Full details of the changes can be found here.

Over to you

If you’re interested in finding out more about Apprenticeship Levy - don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Levy team today via Twitter, LinkedIn or email

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