The Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Labour Market Statistics show that, in the second quarter of 2012, there were just under 300,000 HR professionals in the UK. Developing high-performing HR professionals who understand both the needs of their organisation and how to effectively use HR practices to meet these needs, is critical to enabling organisations to grow in a sustainable way.
In the current economic climate, HR professionals are being required to perform to a high standard to ensure that resources are managed as efficiently as possible, that staff are retained and released where appropriate, and that policies are adhered to. It is therefore important that current and future HR professionals are equipped with the right skills to remain competitive in the international workplace.
Typically new entrants to the profession study a HR qualification. Whilst this gives them a good grounding in HR, feedback from employers has highlighted that more needs to be done to help students apply what they have learnt within their own organisation, so that they can more quickly become effective practitioners. More support is particularly needed for those working in SMEs, or in larger organisations where there are no formal HR development programmes.
This apprenticeship framework has been developed to address the issues highlighted above, and support learners in becoming effective practitioners. The framework offers employers an innovative, cost-effective way of developing HR capability within their organisations. By combining on and off-the-job learning, those undertaking a HR apprenticeship will develop insights into their organisation’s business challenges and capability needs, and therefore be more effective in applying their HR knowledge to support their organisation’s goals.
The Level 5 Higher Appprenticeship in HR Management is aimed at those working in HR Officer or Assistant HR Manager roles. It will help employers to attract bright individuals who may not want to go to university but want to develop a career in a business-related profession. The apprenticeship will also support the development of higher-level skills among existing HR staff, thus enabling HR functions to concentrate more on transformational HR activities that add greater value and support the needs of their organisation.
The Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship in HR Management offers a new route to Associate Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), thus further supporting the Government’s agenda of opening up access to the professions.
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