Tuesday 10th July 2018

An Update from Viapath – Making the Apprenticeship Levy Work

Karon Campbell – Learning and Development Manager for Viapath

“Back in April 2017, when the Levy was introduced, Viapath went to tender and saw several very good companies but decided on 3aaa, as they were the only ones that gave us a dedicated Account Manager and impressed most during the initial meetings.

We currently have 37 apprentices with 3aaa within a range of different areas of the business. These include Business Administration frameworks, with the rest being new standards such as Customer Service, Team Leading, Infrastructure Technician and Data Analyst. These programmes range from Level 2 – 4 and are contextualised to meet our needs and the needs of the Apprentices. The main bulk of our Apprentices are working towards the Team Leader Level 3 programme. We also have a CIPS qualification running that 3aaa don’t offer but instead have introduced us to a business that does. We also work with other providers for our required qualifications that 3aaa do not offer.

Despite having some natural teething issues initially, we are delighted to be working with the dedicated 3aaa team that are in place, including Ken Fowler, Nikkie Pullen and Bev Gilder. They have certainly made an improvement impact and helped us to integrate an effective Apprenticeship Levy Strategy into the business.

We have had some fantastic comments, internally around Derek Dawkins ‘being the most amazing, talented, patient coach/trainer they have ever had’. I also received some recent feedback that stated, ‘The time out of my day job is invaluable as it allows me the head space to think about how to action changes that I need to bring in from what I have learned’. Overall, we have had some excellent feedback, with room for improvement also and we are working closely with 3aaa to ensure that we constantly progress.

The impact has been hard to measure at present. Our Business Administration group are doing a fantastic job and are consistently bringing in fresh IT skills and fresh ideas to their teams. This is having a big impact on the business as things are easier to do, we are using different technology that we didn’t know existed and a fresh approach to the tasks and job that the younger generation have generated. Once the Team Leader learners have finished, I expect to see a step change in how we manage our people.

The Business Administration guys are very visible and are working with lots of internal teams, not just their own, passing on knowledge from their programmes. The other teams are seeing how professional, dedicated and effective the apprentices are and looking to invent job roles to support their own teams using apprentices.

The levy is an important tool in getting the apprenticeship route recognised, although I personally don’t think it has been set up well. Due to the demand and popularity of the programmes internally, we will most likely run out of people who we can train through the apprenticeship route once these people are finished. We are looking forward to the next ‘phase’ of the Levy!”

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