Can course sponsorship bring universities and employers closer together? Deliveroo’s James Allen discusses the PR problem facing apprenticeships

James Allen has a key role at Deliveroo as Recruitment Operations & Early Careers Lead. Following the release of The Work Issue, our latest research into student trends and perceptions, Allen shares his key takeaways with Hype Collective.

In one section of The Work Issue (‘Apprenticeships: a perception problem’), we digest the feedback from our student focus groups and discuss the communications challenge that industries face in making apprenticeships visible and viable. 

While the apprenticeship path doesn’t carry a stigma, as such, our research suggests that it does lack presence as an option. Across our focus group respondents, 95% of students said they didn’t consider an apprenticeship when taking their A-levels.

“Employers need to do more to open up these conversations,” Allen tells Hype Collective. “We need to work with the National Apprenticeship Service and schools and colleges to help students get a better sense of the options out there, by having face-to-face conversations with young people, opening up our offices and attending more school events.

“As highlighted by the student feedback you received, employers are up against an education system that’s built around higher education, with university pushed onto students and a UCAS machine built around the academic year. It’s hard for employers to know how to fit into that.”

Employers must be proactive, says Allen, but higher education also has its part to play.

“I’d love to see universities partner with employers on the actual content of a course,” he explains. “I believe there’d be an appetite from employers to sponsor particular courses and be involved in the delivery of them, to engage with students. And educators must have a hard time keeping up with the rate of change in courses such as marketing, computer science and data science, to name a few, so having an industry presence in the room can only be a step forward.

Whilst you are here, we think this event might be of interest…

James Allen will be on the panel at our upcoming event, Time to Talk? The event looks at what graduate employers can do to better support their applicants and employee’s mental health and wellbeing. To register for a ticket drop an email. The event is a breakfast on 20th of November in central London.

More Stories
Case Study: UniTogether – Co-op