May 30 2022

Can degree-level apprenticeships make your business boom?

Over £2 billion in apprenticeship levy funds has gone unspent over the last two years , with many businesses seemingly lacking confidence in how to spend it - despite the very real benefits apprentices can bring.

Often, businesses find it beneficial to partner with a trusted advisor to implement degree-level apprenticeship schemes into their business. Not only do they experience increased engagement, but they also increase opportunities for upskilling and maximising employee retention. 

Here Steve Roberts, Hilti’s Head of L&D for UK and Europe, explains how he was able to use Arden University’s expert management courses to upskill his employees and drive Hilti towards double digit growth. 

Customer Case Study, HILTI
Video • 3 mins

Click above to watch the testimonial in full

Hitting the ground running

As Head of L&D, Steve understood that highly skilled people would be key to driving better performance and increasing project value. 

As a result, one senior project manager at Hilti, named Gary, was presented with the opportunity to earn an MBA through an apprenticeship scheme with Arden University. This gave him the skills to work with the senior team more closely and boosted his confidence levels to the point where he was able to develop and further his role within the business.

“Gary has progressed massively,” Steve explained. “It’s hard to underestimate the trust that he now gains from senior management in comparison to before he began the MBA course. 

“When you are required to sit in front of the board and put a strategy together so that senior leadership teams actually believe in you and your ideas, it can be incredibly difficult and daunting. Not only have Gary’s confidence levels skyrocketed, but he’s been able to apply this confidence to be a better leader and secure executive buy-in. This is exactly what we needed from him, and it’s exactly why we put him through his MBA.”

From day one to now: the journey

It can be daunting to introduce learning and development plans for senior-level employees who are already high achievers, like Gary. The key is ensuring a focus on actionable, relevant skills that will enable them to directly translate their learnings into the workplace.  

“From day one, Gary really immersed himself in the MBA,” explained Steve. “He already had one of the most important roles in our business, looking after accounts worth over £1 billion. Through the apprenticeship he has succeeded in handling more complex issues with even bigger customers – those who drive profitability for Hilti. 

“Bigger customers mean bigger jobs and a bigger role, and Gary has been on the top of his game. As well as applying his learning to his own role, Gary has brought his knowledge to his teams and to the boardroom.”

Why Arden University?

Busy employees need a simple course and an easy 1:1 relationship with their provider. But simplicity doesn’t need to mean low quality – it means that your provider should offer flexible ways to learn, be adaptive to the individual needs of apprentices and prioritise accessibility. 

“At Hilti, we put a lot of money into the apprenticeship levy – and we wanted to know how best to use it,” said Steve.

"Arden University came along with flexible, modern thinking, and they were there to support Gary on a 1:1 basis every step of the way. Gary was able to adapt his learning to suit his personal and professional commitments, and Arden provided him with the flexibility he needed to complete the programme.

“At our business, it’s simple – we need return on investment. Through his knowledge and learning, Gary has been able to provide double-digit growth from his projects. The quality of Arden’s courses is clear."

“A major step forward.”

Providing a quality service or experience is crucial for any business. As a trusted professional apprenticeships provider, Arden University offers courses that are adapted to real-world learnings, so your employee can action them in their role at work.

With our digital-first learning experience, your employees will get 24/7 access to our virtual classroom, ilearn – plus a host of other resources, including video lectures, library resources and interactive content. As they are based online, our courses are accessible from anywhere, at any time, meaning you can provide the same first-class learning experience to all your employees around a schedule that suits them. 

At Arden University, we act as your go-to partner - providing courses you can trust to boost employee engagement and performance and supercharge your success. 

Find the full testimonial here, or reach out to us at