By Marcus Leach

CFA and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) have been successful in their bid for funding to develop a Higher Apprenticeship in Human Resource Management, as part of the £18.7m Higher Apprenticeship fund announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable in December 2011.

The Higher Apprenticeship in Human Resource Management will provide a new progression route for anyone wishing to pursue a career in HR or business more generally. This will provide an opportunity to build a pipeline of competent and skilled professionals capable of making a meaningful contribution to the organisations that train them.

The CFA and CIPD are now calling on HR professionals to register their interest in contributing to the development of the Higher Apprenticeship in Human Resource Management. The aim is to create 725 Higher Apprenticeships in Human Resource Management by 2016, with the support of a fund of nearly £800,000.

With youth unemployment currently running at over 20%, Higher Apprenticeships will provide aspiring professionals with the opportunity to develop competence, skill and knowledge-sets to pave professional careers. The availability of Higher Apprenticeships across all sectors of the economy and all areas of England will give people the chance to develop capability and will lay firm foundations for the next generation of competent Business professionals.

“The CIPD strongly supports the creation of Higher Apprenticeships as a route into the professions for people of all ages and from all walks of life," Stephanie Bird, director of HR capability at the CIPD, commented.

"The HR apprenticeship will help to attract the brightest and best talent to a profession that has a crucial role to play in driving productivity and growth for organisations. HR is a rewarding career of choice in itself and can also provide a route into other business disciplines.

"Gone are the days when HR was a predominantly administrative profession: today’s brightest HR professionals display a huge amount of business savvy and are real agents of change who contribute significantly to sustainable organisational growth.”

John Hayes, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, said the move will help to build a stronger economy.

“I want more bright young people to build careers in vital professions like human resources, and to receive nationally recognised training to the highest standards. By giving practical learning the same status and recognition as academic study, the Government will help build a stronger economy and redefine the concept of higher education,” he said.

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