How SMEs and not-for-profits can benefit from digital apprenticeships

In recent years, there has often been a focus on encouraging levy paying employers to consider apprenticeships as a route to train their staff. But, apprenticeships can be just as (if not more) beneficial to SMEs and not-for-profit organisations. With co-funding opportunities and many perks to hiring or retraining staff via apprenticeships, we explore why this could be the facilitator to closing the growing digital skills gap in the charity sector.

How can digital apprenticeships support your teams?

A digital apprentice could accelerate your team’s performance through the skills they acquire, their natural abilities and enthusiasm to learn.

New knowledge and skills

By hiring a digital apprentice, you can be assured that the skills and knowledge they learn will be relevant, up-to-date and, ultimately, useful to your organisation.

The apprenticeship standards are developed in conjuncture with employers, meaning that the knowledge they acquire on the apprenticeship is exactly what is needed for the businesses of today. These trailblazer groups include members from multi-national organisations to not-for-profit charities, offering a wide range of perspectives and needs.

Apprentices on our digital programmes in IT and marketing can gain skills in managing databases; creating simple apps to engage with customers; designing and running online fundraising campaigns, and measuring the impact of their work. But, best of all, is that they will bring these newly learnt abilities back to your company, where they can transfer their knowledge to their colleagues.

Therefore, by training just one apprentice, you can inject new skills and knowledge into your team as a whole.

Tech-savvy digital generation

New skills and knowledge go hand-in-hand with the apprentice’s natural affinity with technology. Those born after 1995 are considered the digital generation as they were brought up with technology and can quickly adapt to new products and processes in digital.

Having someone who is naturally able to engage and discover new digital applications could advance your whole company’s digital intellect. In a world where technology is advancing quicker than businesses can keep up, it will be incredibly useful to have a digital native in your midst.


Not only will a digital apprentice bring their digital talents to the role, but they will also offer enthusiasm and a desire to learn from their peers.

The apprenticeship is focused on encouraging young people not only to learn from their tutors but from their colleagues as well. Any new apprentice will be eager to learn and succeed in their role – especially where it is their first job.


It has been proven that where apprenticeship training is offered, staff retention has improved as those that feel invested in and as though their development is important to you as a company are more likely to stay. This means that the talent you have moulded and grown into a highly-skilled member of your team will remain at your company to impart their knowledge to new team members.

What digital apprenticeships are available?

There are over 350 apprenticeship standards, with many of them being digital-focused. You can find out which apprenticeships are available on the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) website here.

At Arch Apprentices, we offer the following programmes:

Data Analyst L4 Managing, cleansing, abstracting and aggregating data, and conducting a range of analytical studies.

Digital Marketer L3 Define, design, build and implement campaigns across a variety of online and social media platforms.

IS Business Analyst L4 A multi-faceted role investigating business situations, identifying and evaluating options for improvement and defining the features required by organisations

IT Infrastructure Technician L3 First and second line support, rectifying issues to maintain the organisation’s productivity.

IT Network Engineer L4 Design, install, maintain and support communication networks within an organisation or between organisations.

Software Developer L4 Build and test simple, high quality code across front end, logic and database layers.

Software Tester L4 Design and prepare test plans and conduct software testing to ensure that software is fit for purpose and operates as intended.

What are the funding options for SMEs and not-for-profit organisations?

If your pay bill is less than £3 million per annum, you are entitled to the co-funding system put in place by the government. This means that you will contribute 5% towards the cost of training, with the government making up the remaining 95%.

This is purely for the training costs paid directly to the training provider and does not cover the usual cost of an employee, such as salary or expenses. Employers with fewer than 50 people working for them are able to train 16-18-year-old apprentices without making a contribution towards the costs of training and assessment.

Instead, the government pays 100% of the training costs for these individuals, up to the funding band maximum. This also applies to apprentices aged 19-24 who have previously been in care or who have a Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan. When employers take on a 16-18-year-old on an apprenticeship framework or standard, they receive £1,000 to help meet the extra costs associated with this.

Digital apprenticeships can have a positive impact on your business with very little expenditure on your part. Grow your digital capabilities with apprenticeships today, get in touch by calling 020 3906 7116 or emailing

Stephanie Khan

Posted December 11, 2018