How Gloucestershire College is championing apprenticeships in the business and professional services sector

Looking to cultivate key skills in-house for your business? Gloucestershire College will guide you and your apprentice every step of the way — from recruitment and funding advice to onboarding and progression.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published

The job market is evolving rapidly due to technological advancements and ever-shifting industry needs. While addressing skills gaps traditionally emphasises education, the role of employers — regardless of their size — should not be underestimated.

Businesses often invest significantly in recruiting staff with required skills but there is potential to shift focus towards cultivating these skills in-house —  and to help support this, Gloucestershire College has been working with many local companies to train up their new and existing employees across a range of job functions via its apprenticeship schemes.

Apprenticeships provide a cost-effective solution not only by bringing in a new apprentice but by offering tailored programmes to your existing employees looking to gain further qualifications and advance their careers.

Upskilling with apprenticeships presents numerous benefits, such as cost savings, enhanced motivation and retention rates and boosted productivity. Additionally, it brings an influx of fresh ideas, knowledge and skills that your staff will contribute to your organisation as a result of their training.

With 95 per cent government funding available for organisations with an annual pay bill under £3 million, as well as the Apprenticeship Levy scheme for those who exceed this amount, the number of companies using apprenticeship funding to upskill their staff has significantly increased.

Plus, the government just announced that it will fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses from 1 April 2024, paying the entire cost of training for anyone up to the age of 21. This new scheme will reduce costs and burdens, making apprenticeships more accessible to SMEs, as well as offering more opportunities for young people looking to kick start their careers.

And in the business and professional services sector, there are plenty of pathways for career progression, for example: GC's HR Support Level 3 and HR Consultant Level 5.

The Level 3 programme is ideal for HR professionals managing daily inquiries, offering guidance and handling processes from routine to moderately complex. On the other hand, Level 5 apprentices leverage their HR expertise to deliver and lead more advanced HR solutions for business challenges, offering customised advice across various HR areas. Training for both programmes is delivered in the workplace as well as the college.

Discussing her own time spent upskilling via GC, Georgia Howells, HR consultant at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions said: 'I’ve had the chance to acquire new skills and knowledge in my field which gave me a platform to grow. I’ve gained the confidence to pursue new opportunities, such as progressing as an advisor in my current company.' 

If your employees are looking to progress to management roles and obtain formal qualifications, then the Team Leader Supervisor Level 3 or Operations/Departmental Management Level 5 apprenticeships are good options. The college offers both programmes — and they can start any time during the year. Training is delivered in the workplace complimented with remote delivery. Completers can choose to register with the much sought-after Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Craig Fletcher, Leadership and Management apprentice graduate at Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I said: 'I enjoyed the course content, and if you have the backing from your company, it works seamlessly. My apprenticeship has already opened a few doors for me, and I have now been seconded to a big project.'

The entry level Recruitment Resources Level 2 and advanced Recruitment Consultant Level 3 are the latest two additions to the Gloucestershire College’s apprenticeship portfolio. Both programmes have been designed to support the fast-paced recruitment sector with the training of skilled professionals well-versed in all the aspects of the recruitment process.

With flexible in-the-workplace and remote delivery, as well as the ability to start at any time during the year, these apprenticeships have already generated interest from employers in Gloucestershire — and even nationwide.

For more information or a no-obligation consultation, email or call Gloucestershire College on (0345)1552020.

Alternatively, to discover all apprenticeships at GC, visit

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