ICRS publishes research on impact of CRS Apprenticeship

ICRS publishes research on impact of CRS Apprenticeship

This report showcases the key findings of our recent research – generously funded by Amazon – on the impact of the Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (“CR&S”) Apprenticeship.

The evolution of our profession has been dramatic since the ICRS' founding in 2014. Recent years have witnessed a massive upsurge in interest in sustainability and, particularly, how business is responding to challenges and opportunities posed by a host of social, environmental and ethical issues. 

The Level 4 CR&S Apprenticeship was launched in 2021 and since then has provided entry routes into the profession for 140 apprentices in 90+ businesses, with almost 50% based outside of London & South East. 

This research provides fascinating insights into the experiences of the first cohort of apprentices. It outlines

  • the benefits that apprentices bring to their employers;
  • contains detailed case studies that capture the views of apprentices and their employers on both the strengths of the current approach and what needs to improve;
  • and concludes with practical advice on how employers can create an inclusive culture that maximises the benefits of the apprenticeship for all parties. 

Our research shows that the CR&S apprenticeship standard boosted team skills, improved equality and diversity and enhanced sustainability efforts.

It also provided a way to hire from a diverse talent pool, reduced bias and kept organisations updated on sustainability trends.

Access the Report

Please submit your details here to access the report. A link to the report will be emailed to you directly. 

Practical tips for harnessing apprenticeship benefits

Our research found that the apprenticeship experience is incredibly varied depending on: the size and industry of the employer, how established the CR&S practice is within the organisation and the support and resources available for new or existing apprentices.

Ensuring employers can create inclusive cultures of belonging is critical to the impact an apprentice can make. This becomes particularly significant when considering social mobility, because the participants are likely to bring a unique set of qualities and life experiences that may differ from the majority.

As more employers begin to offer the standard, it’s important to learn from those with the most impactful and inclusive apprenticeship offerings.

The six opportunities are:

  1. Recruitment tactics to ensure candidates come from diverse backgrounds and different lived experiences
  2. Recognising unintentionally exclusionary interview processes and creating workarounds appropriate for CR&S candidates
  3. Onboarding procedures that build support systems and set apprentices up for success
  4. Supplemental learning and development offerings to fill experience gaps
  5. Providing opportunities for community and psychological safety building at work
  6. Offering paths to informal coaching and mentoring

Check out the toolkit below for practical tips on putting these opportunities in practice. 

CRS Toolkit