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Management and Leadership Apprenticeships and Social Enterprise


Blog post by Steve McLauchlin, Social Investment Manager at Somerset Community Foundation.


Besides working with Somerset Community Foundation – managing a social investment fund and supporting delivery of the Enhance Social Enterprise Programme – I also work as a lecturer for Bridgwater & Taunton College where my principal focus is delivery of new management and leadership apprenticeship programmes.


These separate activities combine effectively in that conversation around opportunities for establishing, developing and growing social enterprises always involves thinking about capacity and capability for effective leadership and management.


This is closely followed by discussion around time, money and resources to invest in personal and organisational development – or lack thereof.


The new management and leadership apprenticeships are part of the government’s strategy to build core competence in organisations across the UK and have been running for over 2 years now.


They remain, however, a bit of a mystery to many – even to those working in larger organisations that are paying a 0.5% levy on payroll of £3m or more.


So, it may be no surprise to learn that, currently, there are no representatives from social enterprises on the programmes that I teach.


This is, in my view, an opportunity missed as the cost to non-levy paying organisations is just 5% of the total cost. For example, a Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship – which takes around 18 months to complete and costs £5000 in total – would actually cost the organisation £250.


There is then the individual and organisational commitment to completing a programme of work to build a portfolio of evidence of competence around defined areas of skill, knowledge and behaviour and this may include study for a qualification such as a Diploma in Management and Leadership.


The benefits to individual and organisation are many and varied – ranging from increased confidence in decision making through improved communication to tangible improvement in individual and team performance.


This leads to benefits for customers through improved and more effective service and this is particularly relevant for social enterprises where ‘customers’ include some of the most vulnerable and needy members of communities.


So, if you are a social enterprise interested in taking on a Management or Leadership Apprentice, contact your local further and higher education providers.



European Regional Development Fund logo


The Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise Programme is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

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