Time to fix the sales apprenticeship logjam

25th March 2018 |   Journal Of Sales Transformation

Teething problems and delays with the UK’s sales apprenticeship programme are frustrating employers.

At the time of writing in early March, it is National Apprenticeship Week in the UK. This time last year – during the 2017 National Apprenticeship Week – there was considerable excitement that the standards for the first-ever degree apprenticeship in B2B sales would swiftly be approved. The aim was to have apprentices embark on their shiny new programmes by September.

What a difference a year makes!

Alarm bells started to ring as delays crept into the process. Eventually, the Institute for Apprenticeships announced the standard was approved, and by October there was renewed confidence apprentices would be starting programmes throughout 2018.

After the euphoria of last year, however, apprenticeships in the UK sales sector appear to have been derailed, albeit temporarily. And it is not just the usual teething problems: delays are being caused by a mixture of confusion about policy in government, employer uncertainty about how the system operates, and inexperience amongst some of the institutions involved in terms of providing programmes to corporate clients.