Know your options, stay ahead: Beyond business administration

Apprenticeship programmes in the UK are predicted to increase by almost 60% in 2017 and one of the key sectors responsible for this impressive growth is Business, Administration & Law. Data released by the government last year revealed that more than half of all apprenticeship starts in 2015/2016 were in both this sector and the Health, Public Service & Care industry.


Generalised versus specialised

Business administration apprenticeships are often a popular choice for employers in all industries and among training providers. These apprenticeships tend to be low cost, easy to deliver and prepare learners with the bare essentials of how companies operate and how to act within the workplace. They are therefore non-sector specific, preparing learners with a base knowledge applicable to a broad range of industries.

However, does this generalised approach come at a cost? Concerns have been raised over the benefits of pursuing a quantity over quality approach to apprenticeships by policymakers. Neil Carmichael MP, chair of the parliamentary skills sub-committee, reportedly stated: “We can’t just say we want millions of apprenticeships if we don’t really know where those millions are going to go… We need to have a quality assurance system in place.”

A possible solution to ensure that learners are more likely to go into relevant employment after they have achieved their qualification is to employ apprentices on specialised programmes. Skills Edge recognises that companies need to build workforces with specialist and up-to-date knowledge in order to remain competitive. Alternatives to the more traditional business administration apprenticeship are yet to be fully mainstreamed however. Many companies do not yet realise the untapped potential of these programmes.

For example, specialised apprenticeships in the housing and finance industries prepare learners for clear career paths. In addition, they do not restrict apprentices learning beyond Level 3 qualifications.


Know your options

Alternatives to business administration apprenticeships include (but are not limited to!):


To find out more about the apprenticeship programmes offered by Skills Edge, call us on 03333 583559 or email


Congratulations! Omni nominated in national and regional awards

Omni the Salon in Surrey has been recognised for its excellence twice over, shortlisted for both the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) and The Muddy Stilettos 2017 Awards.


Leadership excellence

The BABTC Annual Awards is now in its 40th year. It is one of the most prestigious dates in the beauty industry calendar. The gala event on Sunday 18th June shined a spotlight on businesses that have made a significant contribution to the UK beauty industry.

Carolyne Cross is the managing director of Omni the Salon and has a place on this year’s Lifetime Achievement/Contribution to the Industry award shortlist. Cross’ beauty career stretches over 35 years. It has involved extensive experience earned working on cruise ships, in salons, hotels and presenting ‘The Beauty Spot’ radio show. During her time as chair of BABTAC, Cross pioneered higher government standards and regulation within the beauty industry.

The Muddy Stilettos Awards celebrate the most unique, brilliant lifestyle businesses in the Surrey region. Omni the Salon made it onto the shortlist in this year’s Best Beauty Salon category.


Investing in people

The Omni brand includes the salon itself, as well as the Omni Academy of Beauty. The academy has trained thousands of individuals, providing them the skills necessary to embark on a successful career in the beauty industry. Just over 30 Skills Edge learners are currently receiving training at the academy.

Congratulations to Carolyne Cross and her team!

Growing Your Finances Through Financial Apprenticeships

Growing your Finances

A career in Finance can be extremely rewarding – according to PayScale, Financial Advisors earn on average £35,166 per annum.

Would you like to have a career that gives you a feeling of accomplishment and achievement? Or do you feel that you have the right mindset and set of skills to work in finance but that you don’t have the right experience or qualifications to show to an employer?

Why an apprenticeship route into finance is the right route for you

The benefits are vast and you don’t even need to have previous experience within the finance industry. You can expand your knowledge and develop your existing skills, as well as learning new ones, whilst training and earning a salary.

As an apprentice, you will earn whilst you learn, gaining nationally recognised qualifications that we know local employers look for on candidate’s CV’.

We currently have a number of apprenticeships available within the finance industry, are you ready to learn how to make your finances and those around you, grow? Take a look at our finance apprenticeships here!


Walbottle Campus – Hair show 2017

One of our centres, Walbottle Campus, held a hair show for their learners to showcase their talents and what the have learned through training.

The event took place at Walbottle Campus School in Newcastle. The students taking part in the annual Hair Show for National Apprenticeship week were a mix of Year 10 Hairdressing students and also the Apprentice’s currently training with Walbottle campus/Skills Edge Training. This was a chance for the learners to showcase their skills and talent.

Every year the Trade Hair Supplies Artistic team also work alongside learners and demonstrate their amazing skills live on stage to a varied audience.

Around 20 learners took part in the show; we had lots of creative styles ranging from Avant Garde styles as well as Boho chic and contemporary looks.  Employers the Apprentices were invited along, as well as other industry professionals and parents to engage with the learners and embrace the learning opportunities available.

Around 80-100 people attended the evening which was another successful show for the 5th Year running.

The learners were congratulated on the planning and preparation to make this such a successful show.

Apprenticeship Funding Explained…

There seems to be a lot of confusion around the new apprenticeship funding system, so we’ve broken it down into bite size chunks. This post should clear up any queries you have in regards to the new apprenticeship funding system and the Apprenticeship Levy. In essence, the way your apprenticeship funding will work depends on the size of your business:


Companies with a payroll of over £3m
  • Pay an apprenticeship ‘levy’ equal to 0.5% of their total payroll
  • This is paid monthly into the Digital Apprenticeship System (DAS) Account
  • These funds are topped up by 10% by the Government
  • The funds are redeemable through employing apprentices
  • Apprenticeships can be undertaken by new or existing staff


Companies with over 50 employees, but less than £3m payroll
  • Contribute 10% towards the cost of training
  • Funding available for new and existing staff
  • £1000 cash incentive for employing 16-18 year olds


Companies with under 50 employees
  • The government fully funds apprenticeships, making the training free for the employer
  • Funding available to train existing staff or recruit new apprentices
  • £1000 cash incentive for employing 16-18 year olds


If you still have questions about apprenticeship funding, then please contact us and we’ll be happy to help!