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The Science Council

Apprenticeship research

The brief

The Science Council and its members wanted to develop methods of engagement with learners on science-related apprenticeships. They commissioned Shift to carry out this research, which included exploration of apprentices’ needs and the challenges they face in their learning – to provide a better understanding of features they desire from professional body membership.

We looked at how professional bodies could best support apprentices and apprentices’ awareness levels of professional bodies. We also explored barriers to engagement to generate ideas for future membership offers.

The approach

This project consisted of three stages: in-depth qualitative interviews, workshops and a survey.

  • We developed an interview guide in collaboration with the Science Council and recruited 20 apprentices to take part in in-depth interviews. The apprentices were based in England, studying level 3 to level 6 science-related apprenticeships.
  • Based on the findings from the interviews, an interim report was written, which led to an interactive workshop between Shift and the Science Council’s members to discuss the findings, as well as new offerings and ways apprentices could be supported.
  • Following the workshop, we developed a survey to test hypotheses found in the interviews. The survey was distributed by the Science Council, its members and Shift Insight’s panel. In total, the survey received 275 responses. A quantitative report and presentation with the Science Council followed this.

The value

We completed a report for each phase, which included actionable recommendations for how the Science Council and its members could reposition, emphasise or develop professional body offerings to provide the best possible support for apprentices. Our analysis also illustrated gaps in knowledge for apprentices – allowing relevant professional bodies to target their recruitment to attract new members. We also provided opportunities for the Science Council and its members to collaborate on insights stemming from this project through the workshop and final presentation.