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  • Animated image for Facilities Management Facilities Management

    Essential services to help keep your school running smoothly.

  • Ingredients and cooking pans Food and Catering

    Everything you need for your school meals and catering requirements.

  • person working at a desk Furniture

    Helping you create inspiring spaces.

  • Computer screen and printer ICT

    Technology and communications to help you stay connected and current.

  • certificate and books Professional Services

    Supporting your people and professional services.

  • School bus Transport

    Help get your students from A to B.

  • light bulb Utilities

    Review your energy contracts to help save money.

school exercise books varied colours
Discover our complete range of exercise books.
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Blue school exercise book with ruled pages
Ruled paper exercise books for a range of subjects.
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Red school exercise book with squared paper
Squared paper exercise books, perfect for maths.
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Always in stock essentials
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Explore the benefits YPO can provide to Academies and Multi Academy Trusts across the country.
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  • Construction worker Buildings and Construction

    Our expert team can help with building, construction, repairs and alterations. Browse our frameworks.

  • Meeting Corporate and Financial Services

    Help to increase efficiencies and provide better support to your people.

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    A dedicated team set up to support you and offer tailored frameworks.

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    Find ways to reduce your energy consumption with our energy team.

  • Cleaning equipment Facilities and Waste Management

    Providing safe and cost effective working environments.

  • Fleet of white vans Fleet

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  • food and catering worker cooking Food and Catering

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    Create environments that are tailored to your unique needs.

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In the public sector, there are some roles where we simply need to develop more skilled individuals. This is likely to increase in the coming years especially in social care, education, nursing, emergency services and IT.

We are rushing to fill the roles in the short-term, but it is vital that we look at the long-term vision for the future too, in order to prevent the demand from increasing. However, when the world we work in is so busy this can be difficult to achieve.

Apprenticeships and recruitment

In long term recruitment strategies, it is important to review whether the apprenticeship standards we are procuring will support our workforce issues in the future. The apprenticeship strategy and recruitment strategy should sit hand in hand, we have seen some fantastic examples of this across the public sector. 

Apprenticeship programmes allow employers to identify their skill gaps and recruit for a role that offers both skills training and paid work to the employee. Searching for apprenticeship candidates allows you to delve into a much deeper pool of potential because the training to become a skilled employee is provided.

In education, teacher shortage has become a real problem which is continuing to grow all around the country due to budget cuts and restrictions. This current and developing crisis has meant some schools are having to hire less qualified teachers, utilising teachers who may be trained in other subjects, or unqualified substitute teachers are being asked to step in instead. 

The Teacher Apprenticeship is a real bonus to the scheme and will hopefully overcome the shortages the education sector is currently facing. It’s cost effective, allows aspiring teachers to earn while they learn and lessens the burden on the school around having to source and fill empty teaching positions. 

Since May 2015, there have been over 1.8 million individuals who have started an apprenticeship (up until April 2019). This is a fantastic achievement but only the start, as we want to make sure all public sector employers have the skilled workforce they need.


External factors affecting skills shortages

Brexit is likely to impact some key public sector roles. International recruitment currently plays a vital part in filling some of the key health and social care roles available and it is likely that this will need to continue to prevent further shortages. 

Individuals will now require a new legal status to live and work in the UK, and with approximately 65,000 of the NHS workforce and 115,000 of adult social workers being from EU countries, it's important to ensure they have the appropriate status. Individuals can now register with the government's EU settlement scheme to gain legal status.

Ensuring our strategies meet our vision

If we create appropriate sector-wide apprenticeship strategies across the nation, then we can support the skills gaps for the future. Here are some examples of how apprenticeships have made improvements in different areas of the public sector so far;

Although it takes time to develop the skills we desperately need in the public sector, these apprenticeships will have a dramatic impact on our key roles in the coming years. Therefore, it is important that we vocalise these opportunities and really consider the best ways to attract candidates into these types of apprenticeships.

We shouldn’t underestimate the impact the apprenticeship levy can have on our organisations if it’s utilised appropriately. It is likely to take several years and the work is still ongoing, but the public sector is proactively looking at ways to support the skill shortages in it's most critical areas and apprenticeships are most definitely playing a crucial part in it.