Donna Yamani, Training and Engagement Officer for Tate Eats and Tate Commerce, explains how Tate Enterprises has been supporting Apprenticeships, and how schemes like this can benefit both the participants and the business.

After a restructure in August 2020, and reopening fully in May 2021, part of my role as Training and Engagement Officer for Tate Eats and Tate Commerce is to increase the number of Apprentices within our team, working closely with managers across the business and learning providers.

As Tate is a business making over £3m annually it is a legal requirement to contribute an amount into the Apprenticeship Levy Fund. This fund can then be used by Tate Enterprises (the commercial trading arm comprising of Tate Eats and Tate Commerce) and Tate Gallery, to pay for the learning element of an Apprenticeship.

We can use the levy to finance the learning of Apprentices through new recruitment but also to allow existing staff to become Apprentices – enabling them to learn and develop as existing employees.

In the past we have had a small number of successful Apprentices within Tate Enterprises, but the challenges we now face since Covid and the financial strain this has put on employers means that Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to support our employees’ access to learning and development, hence my focus on this aspect of our business.

Apprenticeships were originally set up to support 16-24-year-olds, but now there is no set age limit. This means that Apprenticeships are open to young people who are not following the route of college or university, those who are struggling to find work mid-way through their working life, and we have also identified during the recruitment process those for whom the past two years has been instrumental in career changes – whether that be for a more stable position or a complete change of direction.

This learning opportunity allowed me to pivot into a role that I might not have applied for otherwise. It’s given me the confidence to learn on the job and to make mistakes knowing that I’d be fully supported by my colleagues and the Apprenticeship learning team.

 Kataleen, Assistant Buyer & Developer Apprentice, March 2022 
First Steps

Once I know the specific Apprenticeship I am researching, I begin to look at learning providers. The learning aspect of the Apprenticeship is 20% of the working week, and there are many learning providers for each Apprenticeship – much of my research is based on employer recommendations and looking at each individual website to get a feel for the provider. I also hope this will ensure the best option for the Apprentice so that they will enjoy their learning and complete the Apprenticeship.

After an initial meeting between myself and the provider, I set up a meeting with the person who will be responsible for line managing the Apprentice – it is crucial that the relationship between the line manager and learning provider is positive as they will be working together in close contact for the duration of the Apprenticeship.

Once we have a member of staff for the Apprenticeship (either existing or newly recruited), I can simply access our levy account and set up the Apprentice, ensuing that funds are sent monthly to the correct learning provider.

I’ve been learning the basics of publishing which has been incredibly helpful because I’m new to the industry. Getting to apply the learning through on-the-job experience, especially at such a cultural institute as Tate, has been a joy!

Aki, Publishing Apprentice: Editorial, March 2022
The Benefits of Apprenticeships in Tate Enterprises Ltd

Combining working and learning is one of the greatest positives of having Apprentices – if the learning provider is chosen carefully the Apprentice will have fantastic opportunities to work on projects. These will then form a part of the End Point Assessment – the Apprentice is given three months after the end of the Apprenticeship for this, and hopefully be successful in passing the Apprenticeship.

Although all Apprentices are employed on fixed term contracts, we really hope to be able to retain our Apprentices within our existing teams.

The best part about the Apprenticeship is that I have the opportunity to learn through my course and can then put what I’ve learnt into practice on the job.

  Amalia, Publishing Apprentice: Sales & Rights, March 2022
Looking Forward

We currently have new Apprentices within our People Team, Publishing and Merchandising – and are currently recruiting for a Retail Floor Manager Apprentice. I am hoping that in the future some of our existing chefs in Tate Eats will be able to join Apprenticeships to further develop their skills.

I am also looking forward to working with the Talent Manager in Tate Gallery to set up an Apprenticeship Peer Support Group across the Gallery and TEL. The positive aspect of the past two years is that learning can take place online, but we are also aware that peer support is hugely beneficial to the Apprenticeship experience.

I will be writing an update on our Apprenticeships in the future and look forward to including some personal stories from our Apprentices, and news of more Apprentices across more departments in Tate Enterprises.

Donna Yamani
By Donna Yamani
Donna Yamani is Training and Engagement Officer for Tate Eats and Tate Commerce.
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