The Sourcer’s Apprentice

Last week was National Apprenticeship Week , an initiative coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and designed to promote the positive impact apprenticeships can have on job seekers, employers and the economy.

This year procurement has enjoyed some well-earned visibility, particularly with the UK government publishing details of a new public sector procurement scheme  which offers a more commercially orientated focus than before and gives the individuals involved skills that will transfer to the private as well as the public sector. This is good news in every sense because procurement, unlike other occupations is often under-represented within higher education, greatly reducing the talent pool that hiring managers can draw from. As an added challenge there are also very few entry level roles on offer where graduates can potentially learn the skills of the profession. Most procurement or purchasing roles require a combination of hands-on experience and commercial savvy that can only really be gained through time in the field. This is why apprenticeships could prove invaluable in widening the procurement talent pool as they give candidates a chance to gain the necessary proficiency from both an academic and a practical perspective.

Current schemes typically run from between 1 to 2 years and require a minimum standard of education at GCSE level. The majority promise a recognizable qualification at the end of the scheme and many state that there will be an opportunity to progress within the organisation upon successful completion. Salaries paid vary with sector, location and level of role but typically range from £150 to £250 per week. In our local regions of Surrey, Middlesex, Sussex, Dorset and Hampshire the type of opportunities on offer range from Procurement and Estimating Apprentice to Technical Buyer and cross a range of industries from engineering and manufacturing to energy and telecoms.

In an economy where business growth is being hampered by lack of relevant skills, apprenticeships could go a long way towards building a pipeline of home-grown talent to meet increasing demand. It’s good to see that Procurement is embracing this, not just bringing wider visibility to the profession as a whole but making sure it becomes a career of choice for young people entering employment.

About the Author

Helen Harling

Office and Marketing Manager for both Procurement Heads and sister brand HR Heads. Graduating with a marketing degree, Helen has continued her passion by leading our marketing function forward. You will see her blogging, tweeting, posting, videoing about Procurement Heads. You can see this on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram page.

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