November 8, 2018
In a major boost to the sales profession, the government has approved a new apprenticeship programme which promises to make the UK world-leaders in producing professional, qualified salespeople.
Government backing for the new, level-4 apprenticeship for frontline sales executives, follows the committed work of the Association of Profession Sales, industry, training providers and the government.
Together, we have agreed the shape, skills and funding for the new qualification which has just received final, government sign-off.
Each 18-month apprenticeship programme will cost £6,000, but employers will be able to pay that from the apprenticeship levy which was set up by the government in April 2017.
Now the APS is encouraging companies to make the most of this pot of money by employing their own apprentices who will be working towards a new industry standard, set up by the APS, employers and the government and recognised across the profession as an independently, verified qualification.
Apprentices will be trained in the fundamental skills of selling to make sure they are business ready, and to ensure they receive a rounded, commercial education they will also focus on key topics like business acumen and digital selling strategies.
Level-4 apprentices who do their courses through training centres recognised by the APS will be admitted as members of the APS, and will receive qualifications awarded by the APS.
As part of our campaign for excellence in the sales industry, the APS wants salespeople to be as well-qualified and respected as accountants, lawyers and other professions and this takes us a step closer.
Ben Turner, joint CEO of the Association of Professional Sales, has helped to drive through the sales apprenticeship programmes and says this latest milestone promises to be hugely successful for British companies because the apprentices they sign up will be building their careers on a strong foundation of business and selling skills which will pay dividends for their organisations and for British prosperity after Brexit and beyond.
Turner commented: “It’s with great excitement that we have now had our Level-4 Sales Apprenticeship approved and published on the government’s Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) website.
“This is a massive achievement for us as a body and a superb piece of collaborative work with APS members, academia, training organisations and the government.
“The over-arching success of this is that there will be more qualified salespeople than ever before in the UK. We will have the most engaged, most qualified salesforce to help build British businesses.”
Once the apprenticeship programme is established, Turner said he would expect to see 10,000 new level-4 apprentices joining the sales profession every year.
”There is no reason why not; there’s not been an employer of any size that has looked at this and said ‘having professionally qualified apprentices in sales is a bad idea’,” said Turner.
“If apprentices achieve this Association of Professional Sales qualification, they are effectively being awarded by our industry’s sales leadership and sales experts across the country and around the world.
“In terms of what we’ve done and what we’ve achieved with our friends and our colleagues in sales education, this is phenomenal.”
The first stage – agreeing the qualification standard – was confirmed at the end of last year, now we are pleased to report the funding band for this new level-4 apprenticeship has also been signed off. As a result, the new qualification has just been given final approval and published by the government’s Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) on their website.
The Association of Professional Sales is the leading authority for salespeople. We are a not-for-profit organisation, reinvesting in our profession to build standards, trust and education.