National Apprenticeship Week: A CEO’s Perspective on Elevating Our Business Through Learning 

5th February 2024


Adam Sullivan
Chief Executive Officer

National Apprenticeship Week: A CEO’s Perspective on Elevating Our Business Through Learning

I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative impact apprenticeships can have on a business. Once considered a pathway primarily for trades, apprenticeships have evolved into a strategic asset for organisations. They are not just about training the younger generation; they are about future-proofing our business in a rapidly evolving economic landscape whilst supporting a learning culture across a multi-generational workforce. Let me share with you how apprenticeships have become integral to Baywater Healthcare’s success and growth.

Tackling the Skills Gap Head-On

In our quest for growth and innovation, one of the most significant challenges we face is the skills gap. With technological advancements and changing market demands, finding employees with the right skill set can be daunting. Apprenticeships have been our answer to this dilemma. By offering practical, on-the-job training tailored to our specific needs, we’re able to cultivate a workforce already aligned with our values that possesses skills directly relevant to our sector. This approach doesn’t just benefit our apprentices; it ensures our business has a steady influx of talent that is custom-trained to meet our unique requirements.

Driving Productivity and Fostering Innovation

Introducing apprenticeships to our business has been like a breath of fresh air. They come with new perspectives, eagerness to learn, and an adaptability that is contagious. This energy not only motivates our existing staff but also sparks innovation and creativity throughout our organisation. We’ve seen noticeable improvements in productivity as our apprentices grow, becoming more efficient and effective in their roles through their comprehensive training programs.

Building Loyalty and Reducing Staff Turnover

Investing in apprentices has also proven to be a smart strategy for employee retention. We’ve seen an increase in loyalty among those who have grown within our company, starting as apprentices. This commitment translates to lower turnover rates, saving us significant costs in recruiting and training replacements. It’s rewarding to watch our apprentices develop into core members of our team, bringing stability and experience to our workforce.

Leveraging the Levy

The financial aspect of apprenticeships is also worth noting. The introduction of the apprenticeship levy is not universally popular with all business leaders, however I struggle with the idea of not utilising funding that is there to benefit skills development. I take satisfaction that we not only spend every penny of our levy money, but that we also look to draw down on funds that other business do not use. These incentives not only make apprenticeships a cost-effective solution for workforce development but also demonstrate a wider commitment to nurturing talent.

Enhancing Our Corporate Image

Our involvement in apprenticeship programs has positively impacted our company’s public image. It underscores our role as a socially responsible business, committed to investing in the future of our workforce and contributing to the economic well-being of our community. This stance on corporate social responsibility has not only attracted talented apprentices but also aligns with our customers values as a socially conscious business.

Customised Training for Specific Needs

What sets apprenticeships apart in our experience is their flexibility and relevance in the workplace. We’ve been able to tailor our apprenticeship programs to address the specific skills and knowledge that are most pertinent to our business operations. This bespoke approach ensures our apprentices are learning and developing in areas that directly benefit their roles and, consequently, our company.  Over 10% of our workforce engaged in a formal apprenticeship programme last year spanning every functional team, with learners ranging from 18 to late 50’s.  The breadth of content available has really surprised me with programmes across a range of management pathways, multi channel marketing, specific healthcare training, engineering, finance and supply chain to name a few.


I view apprenticeships as more than just a training program; they are a strategic tool that drives our business forward. They provide practical solutions to industry challenges, enhance our productivity, build a loyal workforce, offer financial advantages, improve our corporate image, and allow for training that is tailored to our business needs. Embracing apprenticeships has been a pivotal decision for our company, positioning us to thrive in the ever-changing UK business landscape. It is a strategy I recommend to other business leaders looking to secure the future of their companies.