Removing barriers to upskilling and developing your staff

By Dave West – Head of Employer Engagement

SS&L can support employers to secure funding for Apprenticeships, meaning zero cost to the employer or employee...Dave West
Head of Employer Engagement on upskilling and developing your staff

According to a recent survey conducted by Somerset Chamber of Commerce, employers in Somerset believe that the costs and time out of the business are the main obstacles preventing Somerset firms from upskilling staff or taking on Apprentices.

To me, these findings suggest that there may be some misconceptions that need to be addressed if employers are considering the Apprenticeship pathway to upskill and develop their staff.


Let’s take the time out of work barrier aspect of this feedback for starters. From August 2022, Apprentices have been expected to spend at least 6 hours each week ‘in learning’. This doesn’t necessarily mean that those on an Apprenticeship are in a classroom and this learning can include a whole raft of other activities, as long as it:

✔️ Teaches new knowledge, skills and behaviours;

✔️ Is relevant to the apprenticeship standard;

✔️ Take place in the apprentice’s normal working hours; and

✔️ Excludes English and maths

Additional resource

An Apprenticeship is a real job with training and employers should not perceive an Apprentice as someone they will constantly need to find cover for, but more an opportunity to support new talent to become effective and productive members of their team.

Cost considerations

Now let’s tackle costs. And that’s a fairly simple one to tackle as SS&L can support employers to secure funding, meaning zero cost to the employer or employee. Thanks to the support we have from Somerset County Council, we can request a levy transfer so the training cost is fully covered.

So cost should be no barrier to employers considering an Apprentice if you choose to work with SS&L.

To find out how we can remove these barriers to upskilling and make Apprenticeships work for you, please get in touch and we can answer any questions you might have.