Should all Apprenticeships be Creative?

2nd March 2018 - Chris Strong

At IVE we work with contacts in various industries to deliver what we call creative apprenticeships. But, should all apprenticeships be creative? We’ll cut to the chase, yes, and here’s why.

Numerous reports, studies and articles suggest we are fast approaching a revolution in the jobs market. Google it. Hey, that’s part of the issue. The application of machine learning to augment or replace human resources is already happening. As technology advances (exponentially), becoming ever more versatile, it will replace many of the day-to-day jobs we are familiar with, becoming a major disrupter of the general workforce on a global scale.

In light of automation we need to become comfortable with redefining our jobs, not just once or twice in our careers but continuously, and we shouldn’t necessarily expect the boss to do that for us. Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to learn the fundamentals, essential knowledge and skills of a chosen profession whilst applying them in real life. It’s a principle advantage over traditional academic paths. Supporting apprentices to creatively interpret and apply these skills now will help ensure they ride the wave of technological progress and evolve-into or even create, the jobs which haven’t been written yet. In doing so, they are more likely to be enterprising with the future than scared by it and as assets they’re more likely to differentiate from robots.

IVE Lisa Ibbetson Apprentice

As we discussed in our blog, The 3 Biggest Challenges for UK Businesses in 2018 arguably the biggest challenge for UK Business is complacency. The world moves apace and through globalisation we face competition from anywhere. There is uncertainty in markets, technology and in political and economic stability.

Good business leaders prize creativity as an essential step to innovation, ensuring future viability and growth. Therefore, it makes sense to embrace uncertainty, through a growth mind-set, to see it as an opportunity to be creative and enterprising. The uncertainty of risk-taking in the pursuit of innovation might make an investment in creativity seem like an expensive luxury, but surely the risk of just expecting innovation to happen is greater.

If we’re really serious about creativity, then we need to invest in the Creative Business Environment -the tools, training, experimentation, reflection and, most importantly, the people that will help creativity to thrive. If prepared to shift the day-to-day working environment to one that is conducive to creativity then doesn’t the idea of a creative apprenticeship becomes a very exciting proposition? It offers the opportunity to inject fresh perspective, imagination, powerful questioning and diversity. There’s a strong creative case for diversity and the space for divergent thinking is key to new ideas.

Rather than consider an apprentice as a costly burden, until suitably moulded and competent in set-tasks, consider an apprentice as a creative asset from the start. Their imagination is liberated from knowing how things ‘should’ be done which allows them the freedom to experiment with new ideas and challenge the status-quo. It can be good for them and for the business too and will help your team(s) appreciate the collaborative nature of creative environments. For the apprentice, it will help embed creativity as a learning habit not just as they start out but also at a higher-level, as they do indeed become more competent, experienced and involved.

If you’re interested in our creative apprenticeships, or other ways IVE could create a creative environment in your business, subscribe to our newsletter for the latest research and updates.

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