Apprenticeships: nurturing a diverse sector

Apprenticeships are a unique opportunity for NGOs to recruit a new generation of entry-level talent and upskill existing staff. 

These programmes are a new way to train and support people from disadvantaged backgrounds and minority groups into careers in international development. 

We’ve teamed up with WhiteHat, a tech startup building an outstanding alternative to university for the digital age, to improve how NGOs hire, train and retain talent. Focused on improving diversity in the sector, this partnership supports organisations of all sizes to effectively utilise apprenticeships as part of their staff attraction and retention strategies.

Over 30 members came along to the launch event on 30 October. Read about the top 5 takeaways and get in touch if you'd like to discuss upskilling staff or apprenticeships in your organisation.

Apprenticeships FAQs

What are apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships are training programmes that last 15-18 months and are funded by the apprenticeship levy. They can be used to train entry-level staff or to upskill existing members of staff in a range of areas.

What is the apprenticeship levy?
All organisations with an annual paybill over £3 million contribute to the levy. This money can only be spent on apprenticeship training with an approved training provider, not salaries or short-courses. Calculate the approximate size of your organisation’s levy.

My organisation doesn’t pay the levy - how would I fund an apprentice?
If your organisation doesn’t pay into the levy, or has already spent its levy pot, WhiteHat works with corporate clients willing to donate the cost of the training for Bond members.

What are the benefits of hiring an entry-level apprentice?
NGOs often feel they hire over-qualified people into their entry-level roles and, while there is a desire to increase the diversity of the sector, many NGOs feel they could do more. WhiteHat specialises in finding diverse, high-potential young people who don’t want to go to university. Apprentices often outlast graduate hires and benefit from support and training provided by WhiteHat. This partnership will bring in a new generation of diverse talent to the NGO sector.

“Our sector desperately needs an injection of diverse talent and this programme promises that and more. We have worked with WhiteHat to hire two excellent apprentices and upskill existing staff using our levy pot. WhiteHat's support and advice have been invaluable and I urge everyone in the charity sector to speak to WhiteHat and Bond.” - Andrea Metcalf, deputy director of people and culture at ActionAid UK

What are the benefits of upskilling our existing employees through apprenticeships?
WhiteHat apprenticeships are delivered by trained coaches who have worked in industry and who specialise in applying learning to apprentices’ work. They support your staff throughout the programme through in-person sessions, bootcamps and webinars to ensure learning is retained and applied to their role. Those on the programme learn skills that enable them to perform better in their role and build capacity within their teams and organisations.

Ok, what would we actually need to pay?

  • Training costs from the levy (or donated to you if you don't have a levy pot )
  • Recruitment fee (when hiring only) - £1,350 (includes a 10% discount for Bond members)
  • The apprentices’ salary, which must meet London living wage (£20,572.50 at 37.5 hours per week)

Who is WhiteHat?
WhiteHat accelerates the careers of a diverse group of future leaders at some of the world’s biggest companies and charities by creating an outstanding alternative to university through apprenticeships. They were voted UK’s Best Training Provider 2019 by school leavers and won the Tech4Good diversity award 2019. Current NGO clients include WaterAid, ActionAid and UNICEF.

What programmes are available through this partnership?
We will be running regular cohorts for charities every quarter with the courses chosen to be demand-driven. The first two programmes have been chosen:

  • December 2019 - For existing staff - Data Fellowship level 4
    Do you have any staff who handle data outside of your data team who could benefit from sector-leading training in data wrangling and visualisation? View the programme and check if you're eligible. Those interested in joining the cohort can request an application form. The deadline for submissions is Friday 22 November.
  • February 2020 - For new hires - Business Associate level 3
    Do you have any team assistant vacancies or roles in HR, IT, front of house or facilities coming up that could be filled by high-potential, diverse apprentices? View programme.

Future programmes include:

  • Digital Marketing - for new hires - For entry-level comms and fundraising roles
  • Project Management - for existing staff - For employees who have never had formal project management training
  • Leadership and Management - for existing staff - To upskill junior line managers
  • Accounting - for new hires - For entry-level accounts roles, delivers the AAT level 3 qualification
  • Software Engineering - for new hires - For junior developer roles