Working to bridge the productivity gap

Higher and degree apprenticeships are set to play a key role in helping businesses boost their productivity and drive innovation, according to the Dean of Lancashire Business School Dharma Kovvuri.

Speaking at the UCLan degree apprenticeships event, held at The Media Factory in Preston, he urged companies and organisations in the county to play their role in shaping the new training landscape emerging out of the apprenticeship levy reforms.

He said higher and degree apprenticeships would make it easier for them to attract and retain staff, give more flexibility in how companies delivered their training and was a chance for them to “shape the training” to meet their direct requirements.

And he told the audience: “The Government is making a real push around degree apprenticeships; it wants to increase the number from around half a million a year at the moment to three million starts overall by 2020.”

Lynne Livesey, Deputy Vice Chancellor at UCLan and a member of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Skills and Employment Board, also told the audience that raising skills was a vital part of the Government’s emerging industrial strategy.

Lynne urged businesses paying the new apprenticeship levy to use to funding to make sure they were competitive and as a way of growing and retaining talent. And she added: “This is about employers designing what they want.”

He was taking part in a panel discussion that also included Dharma and Lynne as well as Helen Jones, leadership and development manager at UCLan and Melissa Conlon, commercial manager at Lancashire-based software development company Magma Digital. The event was chaired by Lancashire Business View publisher Richard Slater and the magazine was a media partner.

  • There will be more coverage of the event in the May/June issue of Lancashire Business View.

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