Apprenticeships matter for part-time workers too

As Timewise co-launches a project researching how to make part-time apprenticeships a reality, Joint CEO Emma Stewart explains why it’s in businesses’ interests to make sure no-one is left behind.


Businesswoman Giving Computer Training In Office

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April has made developing apprenticeship schemes a priority for businesses. But although the number of people taking part in these schemes has already increased, there are many groups – particularly women, people with caring responsibilities, people with disabilities and young people leaving the care system – who are shut out. Why? Because most apprenticeships are full-time.

So if, as a society, we want to make these opportunities available to all – and if businesses want to increase their chances of hitting their government quotas – developing part-time and flexible apprenticeships is the obvious solution.

That’s why we’re working with the Young Women’s Trust, Trust for London and the Learning and Work Institute to investigate how to make apprenticeships an option for people who can’t work full time. The project will see us talking to employers to find out what the barriers and opportunities are, and how we can work together to design roles which are achievable on a part-time basis. And our project partners will be having similar conversations with training providers and learners.

By the time the project concludes, we’re expecting to have developed some innovative solutions for part-time and flexible apprenticeships that will open up this way of working for even more young people and adults. And we’ll be able to demonstrate to businesses why it’s worth them taking part-time apprenticeships seriously – and what their next steps should be.

We believe that part-time apprenticeships have a critical role to play in unlocking the market for quality, flexible jobs, and we’re really looking forward to sharing the team’s conclusions with the business world in the autumn. In the meantime, if you’d like to talk to us about how we can be similarly innovative in your own sector, please contact me on emma.stewart@timewisefoundation.org.uk.