How Aon maximises the apprenticeship levy to boost engagement

Apr 14, 2022 | Apprentices & school leaver

Aon’s approach to using the apprenticeship levy has evolved to support the development of its workforce throughout the employee life cycle.

As a global professional services firm, Aon focuses on delivering an exceptional colleague experience through supporting colleagues to achieve their full professional potential.

To achieve this, Aon utilises apprenticeships to offer enhanced learning opportunities, making colleagues more relevant and informed to help clients protect and grow their business. 

Evolving use of the levy

Historically, Aon’s apprenticeship levy has been used to support early career development.

In 2017, Aon implemented apprenticeships for school leavers and graduates, which were coined internally, Go Further. The introduction of the apprenticeship levy enabled Aon to offer enhanced learning opportunities for early careers colleagues advancing their knowledge, skill and behaviour development. 

Within a couple of years, Aon expanded Go Further (apprenticeship) offering to support professional qualifications to experienced colleagues. By doing so, Aon now ensures all UK colleagues working towards their professional qualifications benefit from the features apprenticeships can offer, rather than the traditional isolated self-study approach.

Since, Aon’s utilisation of the levy has evolved from professional study to strategically addressing the needs of the business and clients.

Historically, a small number of high potential colleagues had benefited from global leadership programmes, however Aon recognised the demand for directing development opportunities to a greater proportion of future leaders and offering a more comprehensive programme.

In 2019 Aon introduced the Aon Leadership Certificate and Aon Leadership Diploma, initiating the Aon Leadership Pathway.

The impact of the Aon Leadership Pathway has been dramatic, not only for leaders but for the teams that they are working in. Shortly after Aon launched the Aon Leadership MSc for senior leaders within the business, and most recently the Advanced Diploma.

Aon continue to identify any areas of skills shortages in its workforce and looks to address these through apprenticeships, funded via the apprenticeship levy.

Through the extensive work Aon has done to utilise the apprenticeship levy for colleagues across the colleague life cycle, Aon is now using the vast majority of its levy each month and has been able to offer career development opportunities funded via the apprenticeship levy to roughly 12% of its entire UK population.

Social impact

Aon’s approach to upskilling also expands to those in the wider community.

One of Aon’s key I&D programmes for social mobility in the UK, Step Up, is managed through a Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP). Following the completion of the programme, Aon supports those who join as permanent colleagues in continued development through enrolling onto both customer service and insurance apprenticeships. This supports the retention and development of these key individuals who are new to the working environment.

Aon recognises the apprenticeship levy funding is a real gift and has enabled the development of key talent in volumes that would not otherwise be achieved.

However, it is also aware of the societal impact that can be made through the apprenticeship levy and has pledged £1,000,000 of its levy to employees of smaller organisations who are unable to access sufficient funding for their own development programmes.

Aon is committed to supporting its clients in making better decisions and has found apprenticeships to be fundamental in contributing to the colleague experience, at all career stages, ensuring colleagues are achieving their professional potential.

Catch up here if you missed Aon at ISE’s Apprenticeship Conference 2022

Read more from ISE members on the apprenticeship levy

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