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The future of HR – apprenticeships?

The future of HR – apprenticeships? Time and time again I hear from HR professionals or people coming in to the industry, that they are held back by the fact they don’t have the CIPD qualification. Now for some, that means they can’t move to the next level at the current company, where they may have worked for many years, doing an excellent job. Their skills have been honed over time and augmented with various forms of CPD such a reading, networking, informal courses, YouTube … the list goes on. These are all forms of valid education. 

Education isn’t just formal courses, (which can be very expensive). Education shouldn’t be just for those who can afford it. 

Now this is where funded education such as Apprenticeships come in. But I feel a strong compulsion to air my unconventional views on this.

Firstly, apprenticeships are not only for the under 24 year old, it’s just that’s where the funding goes. Well why? What do we have to put an age range on it? Why 24? Who makes these rules up? How did they come to that conclusion …does anyone really understand this? I’m not sure I do. 

Another point is apprenticeships are looked upon as the poor man’s cousin of education. To be honest that’s the perception of any vocational qualification. When the kids leave school at 16 and stay on to do A levels, I hear parents congratulating their success and ask what subjects they are studying.

However, it’s a different reaction, when they say ‘yes my son is going to college and doing a Level 3 diploma’.  

When did we become snobs?

Now coming back to my first point of HR qualifications, you can do a HR apprenticeship – Level 3 and a level 5.

You not only get a formal qualification, but its a measure while you are doing the job. So many HR graduates and HR professionals, who have undertaken their degree or level 5 CIPD, contact me and ask me how to run a disciplinary meeting, as they don’t have and can’t get experience, in real time. The apprenticeship gives you that experience, but like I said before, it’s seen as the poor man’s cousin, so it doesn’t hold as much weight as the CIPD. 

Is it right to have the monopoly on HR education; or is it the apprenticeship schemes that need to raise their profile as a serious contender? What if I was to tell you, a level 7 HR Apprenticeship is being considered, which gives you the experience as well as a formal qualification. Too many qualifications are all about a memory test or writing essays on what some author wrote in 2001. Understanding a concept is one thing, but there’s a gaping hole between academia and the commercial working world.

What are your thoughts? 

Do you always ask for CIPD qualification even when the person is very capable without it? Does one shoe really fit all? Should we have all our eggs in one basket … Personally, I think NOT!

The future of HR is it apprenticeships?

Lisa Haggar
Lisa Haggar
HR Consultant| HR Director| People Centric Leader| Business owner| Executive Coach | Public Speaker| Board Member | Founder of ‘The HR Couch’ With 30 years in the HR arena, Lisa has progressed in her HR career within a background of start-up, scale up and PE backed businesses. After losing her corporate job during Covid, her business model now is solely focused on consultancy and coaching and is a very sought after HR Consultant with a 18 month waiting list! She is a highly influential HR leader and is recognised for her provocative thoughts and contemporary and at times unconventional approach to HR. Lisa is also a qualified, highly regarding coach and public speaker. She writes is posts, blogs and articles that inspire many with her positive attitude and challenges to the norm. As one of the top HR influencers on LinkedIn, she describes herself as the ‘Queen of People’ excelling at her People Centric leadership approach, that builds extraordinary business cultures. And if that’s not enough to keep her busy, she started THE HR COUCH network last year to support the HR community and sits on the board for a mental health charity.

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