Management Apprenticeships – how to make them work

If you’re an employer paying into the Apprenticeship Levy and you haven’t yet discovered how to spend your levy pot, let us show you how you can use management apprenticeships to gain real competitive advantages.


Seven inventive ways to use Management Apprenticeships to boost results

  • Use apprenticeships simply as a way to deliver structured leadership and management training at all levels
  • Attract and recruit talented graduates
  • Attract and recruit talented young people by offering a paid alternative to university or further education
  • Succession planning for existing managers
  • Avoid being forced to pay higher wages to keep existing staff
  • Avoid facing training costs for new managers
  • Retain talented staff and motivate them to stay engaged


The problem many employers have found is that the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced with little education so for many it has just been treated as an additional tax. Unspent funds in your Apprenticeship Levy pot are lost and that’s a criminal waste of your money.

There are a number of myths that hold employers back from using their funds:


Seven completely incorrect myths around using your Apprenticeship Levy

  • Apprenticeships are only for manual workers
  • Apprenticeships are only for kids leaving school
  • Apprentices have to spend 20% of their time out of work
  • They’re difficult to set up
  • They’re not for managers
  • They can only be used for new recruits
  • I don’t have much in my Levy pot so it will cost me too much


There are lots of things that employers also don’t know about their Apprenticeship Levy and using it for Management Apprenticeships


Seven often-hidden facts about delivering management Apprenticeships

  • HMRC will make a contribution of 10% over and above your contribution
  • Run out of funds? No problem – HMRC will now make a 90% funding contribution towards your management apprenticeships
  • The 20% of time spent on their Apprenticeship can be used for management activities
  • Management Apprenticeships can be used instead of pay rises
  • Apprentices can be of any age over 17. There’s no limit
  • Apprenticeship levy funds can be used for senior management development
  • If you ignore this you’re losing all your advantages and just paying more tax than you need to


Find out more about our management apprenticeships – at Levels 3 and 5.

Or call John Thistlethwaite on 0800 619 1230 to find out more

Impellus Insight learning and development events launch in London

Insight – invitation-only management learning and development events for HR and Senior Managers – launched at London’s Edition Hotel in Fitzrovia on Tuesday.

Impellus launched Insight, its client event series, at the London Edition Hotel yesterday. The first event covered the major management and leadership trends of 2018 as gathered from Impellus research and buying trends in Learning and Development.

The event was oversubscribed and was attended by HR Managers and senior personnel from many of Impellus’ clients and some prospective clients.

David Shimkus, Operations Manager at Impellus, said, “The HR Managers and L&D professionals who book training with us don’t get to meet peers very often to discuss and share their practices. We’ve launched Insight events to give focus to the trends in Learning and Development which we see in the market and from research polling thousands of managers annually”.


About Insight Events

“We’re very keen to stress that these are client learning events and not sales events. We want to be able to provide high value to our clients and they want to have supplier relationships which can deliver high additional value”, continued Shimkus. “They will all be enjoyable, relevant and of high value to attendees”.

The same event will also take place in Birmingham – at the fabulous Genting Hotel, Birmingham NEC – on Wednesday 13th March. Future events will focus on topics such as Apprenticeships as well as more socially-led forum events for clients, and will be held at all manner of interesting venues in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds as well as other venues as demand supports.

Helen Ash, HR Manager at Land Use Consultants, one of the UK’s leading archichtural consultancies and urban planners, said, “the event was really thought-provoking and a great opportunity to share ideas and experiences with other learning and development professionals”.


To find out more or for next events and dates please contact your Impellus Account Manager for details. If you’re new to Impellus and have a remit to deliver leadership and management training or a learning and development programme, please call with your details and remit to find out more.


Impellus Christmas 2018 opening hours

Impellus opening hours – Christmas 2018

Please note that the Impellus offices close at 16:00 on Friday 21st December and reopen at 08:30 on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. All staff members are officially on holiday over this period.

In the mean time

  • If you are submitting details for an ILM Award or want to check your account details you can continue to use the Impellus Business Centre at any time
  • If you are completing details for your ILM Diploma or apprenticeship, you can still log in to your Solar account
  • If you would like to make a booking please either:
    • Email your Account Manager with the details of your booking although we cannot guarantee immediate response
    • Submit your booking here although again please do not expect an immediate response
  • For all other queries you can try your contact’s DDI or email although again we cannot guarantee an immediate response


We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Good leadership and management the key to riding the Brexit storm

We’re five months from Brexit, the single biggest constitutional change in this country’s history, and business still doesn’t know exactly what the landscape looks like on the other side of 11pm on 29th March 2019.

Business likes certainty. It never turns up but some periods in time provide more or less of it. So how does a business prepare to deliver the best possible results during this period of uncertainty?

The core is around good, strategic decision making by senior leaders and ensuring that your management team is aware of, and capable of dealing with, the challenges that are to come. Senior management needs to be able to communicate very effectively through the management team.

Of course Brexit is a big deal. Of course uncertainty is a constant. However, the lack of direction, the unknown around the changes in threat or opportunity and the fear amongst staff create an unprecedented challenge for leaders and managers.


A VUCA world

The current situation is perfectly understood and described using VUCA thinking, and so senior management need to understand the landscape and be able to act accordingly.

V – Volatility
U – Uncertainty
C – Complexity
A – Ambiguity

First termed by US military, the thinking has become prevalent in senior management practice and is covered in Impellus senior management courses. Understanding how to develop strategy in these circumstances and make decisions accordingly keeps you nimble and allows you to make choices that best deliver the results you’re after during the period, whether financial or strategic.

What happens to your strategic direction at the single stroke of a tax change? A border deal? A trade deal with the US? Sudden changes in immigration policy? When will you know? Good strategists consider these challenges early.


Communication is the key

Brexit deal or no deal? What does that mean in your organisation to your employees? Their workloads? Their pay? Their very jobs?

Where there’s no communication, speculation takes over and this can create behavioural challenges that can range from loss of motivation to more aggressive leadership void issues.

One of the collective failings of management teams is that when senior management feels it has nothing to say, nothing gets said. A senior management team considering the implications of Brexit and the organisational challenges may not be able to make the changes or investments it wants now, but it needs to be communicating that effectively through its management team.

This explains the situations and challenges faced, and ensures the management team are equipped to deal with staff concerns and issues. Most importantly it helps to quell speculation and misguided thoughts and fears.


One direction

When it’s difficult to make decisions or plan effectively, or when trading conditions become more difficult, keeping the management team sharp provides a huge return on investment.

Often senior managers and leaders wear the number of recessions they’ve been through as badges of honour. Whether there’ll be a recession or not is difficult to predict, but times will be challenging for sure and will test managers.

How prepared are they? What efficiencies are they capable of producing? How much experience do they have? Will they be drawn into political brawls which serve no purpose other than to antagonise?

If your managers are capable leaders in their own right they’ll be able to interpret your strategic direction much more easily and will keep daily performance issues to a minimum during a time where you’d rather not have other issues on your plate.

‘Pulling together’ is always a challenge. Being able to clearly follow senior management lead during the challenges of Brexit will find them out if their leadership skills are lacking.



Every business and employer is affected by the issues around Brexit. It’s the number one concern we hear in the management training courses we’re running at the moment and it will definitely have its winners and losers.

One thing in business is always a certainty, though. Good leadership and management always wins through.

Do you have what it takes to be an Impellus Management Skills Trainer?

Impellus is looking to recruit a full time trainer to deliver courses and qualifications. Working across the UK, from the Impellus offices and from home.


A commercially aware Management, Leadership and Commercial Skills Trainer is required by Impellus – a fast-growing provider of open and in-house training programmes to SMEs across the UK. The successful candidate will have previously held strategic management positions and will have had some experience in delivering management and leadership training or corporate presentations in an enjoyable and engaging fashion.

The position requires an organised and commanding trainer who can deliver open training programmes reliably and in line with our company values (integrity, discernment, care and a clear sense of quality) at venues across the country. The successful candidate will also deliver in-house training programmes on similar subjects for clients and support clients working towards a qualification in leadership and management through the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

Candidates must be able to think on the spot about how skills can be applied to a wide range of business sectors and environments, how delegates process information, and be able to actively play host to delegates at all times. A mixture of commercial and presenting experience as well as a style that matches the values expressed here is more important than the specific number of years in a training role – we are looking candidates with management experience rather than career trainers

The job is very demanding in terms of the number of programmes that need to be delivered across a wide geography so the successful candidate will need to be in good health. The intensive periods are balanced by days of preparation and consolidation work which provide some amount of flexibility when not training. There’s also a very healthy six weeks (30 days) of holiday.

The role involves staying away from home approximately (but not limited to) twice a week. Impellus will provide an expense account for travel and subsistence, and overnight accommodation will be provided as and when required. Most overnight stays will be at the venues where training is taking place the next day and will have onsite restaurants. Many venues also often have additional facilities such as a gym or swimming pool.

For our clients, the successful applicant will become the face of the company so they must be smart, well-mannered, possess the right gravitas and be able to discuss further opportunities with clients. The successful candidate will ideally be based within comfortable distance to our Head Office in St Albans and in easy reach of the M25, M1 and M4.


• Approximately 140 – 150 days training per year

• Support with course design

• Coaching and facilitation support to clients working through their ILM qualifications

• Attendance and contribution required at Monday meeting



• OTE £50,000pa to be achieved within your first 12 months

• Basic salary: £42,200pa (dependant on experience)

• £75 ‘attendance bonus’ per training day successfully provided (or attended as part of cover or own initial introductory training). Guaranteed at 2 training days per week = £7,800 pa

• Expenses: fully reimbursed plus £20 overnight meal allowance

• 30 days’ holiday plus public holidays

• High quality and extensive Healthcare Insurance provided after successful completion of a probation period



In the first instance please send your CV to David Shimkus, Operations Manager at Thank you.


Seven hidden reasons delegates love Impellus management training courses

They say the devil is in the detail. Delegates are always going to notice the quality of the trainer or the relevance of the content but there are subtleties at work too. All Impellus courses are designed in certain ways to keep interest, maximise learning and allow improvements in performance.


1, Pitching those anticipation levels just right

How managers feel about their upcoming training will affect the results achieved.

Our account managers can help you to get this right at point of booking and will send out full details on the course so that delegates know what to expect and arrive in appropriately positive. On arrival our trainers give the delegates a warm welcome and put them at ease.


2, That was easy to find

Our research shows us that if the destination is difficult to find it can ruin the whole beginning of the day.

It’s important that the venue is easy to access and avoids the worst of the morning traffic. We use twenty-five venues throughout the UK, all of which have been carefully selected to ensure they are easily accessible by road and rail.


3, Getting underway

There are none of those awkward ice-breaker exercises on an Impellus management training course, we start with simple, friendly and professional introductions. We then get into the content with a high energy activity introducing the main topic. This way the delegates immediately get to know who they will be working with and can hit the ground running so that they can squeeze the most out of every minute out of the day.


4, Are you sitting comfortably?

Delegates need to feel comfortable and safe so that they are happy to share their experiences and ideas with the other members of the course. Our rooms are set up ‘cabaret style’ using round tables of no more than six delegates so that open table discussions are manageable and fun, enhancing the learning and enjoyment on the day.

Oh, and did you know that we test the chairs at all our venues before we use them to ensure your comfort?


5, Time and timings are everything

Sometimes being asked to remain in one place and concentrate on a single concept for a whole day can be a challenge. So here’s a way we combat this.

An Impellus management training day starts with a session which lasts 1hour 45minutes and we decrease the length of each of the following three sessions by fifteen minutes.

This makes each session seem to go quickly and keeps delegates energised and engaged.


6, What’s for lunch?

We know that this is an important part of the day but if it’s not delivered well it can have a negative effect. We take a break for an hour so that delegates can have a proper sit- down meal during which time they can discuss the events of the morning, network and, if necessary, check that everything is running well back at base camp. They can then get the most from the rest of the day.

Compare that to the energy-drain of poor refreshments cheaply served at the back of the same room.


7, Invite the challenge

We invite challenges in our courses. They’re important to test the robustness and validity of the content.

This is where cracks appear if the trainers are trainers. Our trainers are senior managers who became trainers. That’s a huge difference. They’ve been there, done it, taken the knocks and enjoyed the successes.

This means that delegates can be confident in using their new skills rather than being confused by models.




Of course the content is important, but these designed-in features mean that delegates are free to learn, challenge their thinking and discuss challenges with managers from other organisations. This in turn means they enjoy improving their skills and bring those skills back into the workplace and deliver your return on investment.






Five often-unasked questions you must be able to answer for your management training delegates

When you’re sending managers on training courses you need to know you’ll get a good return on your training investment.


Finding a programme with relevant content is important, of course, but making sure you can answer these questions before your managers begin may just be the key to unlocking additional value. Managers starting training feeling confident, engaged and supported almost always produce higher value back in the workplace.

So whether they’re asking or not, these may well be on their minds:


What’s all this about?

Managers are busy people and may well feel that they are already doing a good job, so taking time away from their workday issues may make them feel uncomfortable. Discussing the aims of the course and agreeing how they will enhance their future performance will strengthen their commitment and enthusiasm. Providing details about the location, the venue, the timings and, of course, the lunch will ensure that they are fully prepared for a stress-free day clearing down their mind to concentrate on the purpose of the training course.


Will I look a fool?

They say the bigger you are the harder you fall, so no matter how much work/life experience you have, new situations can be daunting. Ensuring the course provides an open and safe and appropriate environment is important. Delegates must be able to share their challenges and experiences with peers facing similar situations without fear of ridicule. This encourages invaluable discussions and makes the learning relevant and enjoyable.


Who’s leading the charge?

Trust is a powerful motivator and it’s hard to remain engaged if you don’t have confidence in the trainer taking the course or qualification. Professional trainers who have personal leadership experience and are able to address the cynic in the room with diplomacy and well-researched information are essential.


Are you talking to me?

On the day, elements of the course may resonate differently with each individual based on their experience and prejudices as well as their preferred learning style. Real and relevant material and examples, a mix of ‘talk and chalk’, individual exercises and group discussions, as well as clearly defined sessions ensure managers remain engaged.


What do I do now?

Learning needs to go into practice. A manager leaving a training room full of enthusiasm is great but not enough. The course should be designed to help them make the real decisions that will improve their performance. They may well need support too. Make sure any senior manager is aware of the things they have learned and is committed to helping them put the learning into practice.




Management training provides improvements in productivity and competitive advantage. If you’re making the investment in training, ensuring your managers are prepared and engaged will pay long term dividends for you, your managers and your organisation’s results.

Pulse (Quarter 1) – indicators from Impellus leadership and management training

Training Room Insights – 1st Quarter 2018

As one of the largest ILM-Approved Training Centres in the UK, Impellus delivers management open courses to more than 250 delegates a month. To ensure our high-quality customer service is maintained, we request feedback from each delegate on the course content and trainer’s delivery, as well as the venue.

We also asks for the delegate’s opinion on their work situation at the time they attended the course. By analysing this feedback regularly, we can report as to how senior managers and managers are feeling up and down the country in our Training Room Insights.

Increasingly managers feel that training helps ‘enormously’ to improve their performance

The key indicators from delegates attending our open courses in the first quarter of 2018 are as follows:

  • Thirty-six per cent of delegates felt that ‘training like this improves my performance enormously’ – which is up from 32% last year. These figures actually represent a 13% increase over the same quarter in 2017. When we combine those delegates who felt that ‘training like this improves my performance enormously or measurably so’, there was a 3% uplift yoy.
  • These results reinforce the value of management and leadership training, as the statements are made by the delegates themselves rather than by their organisations. Set against the backdrop of a slight dip in managers’ optimism compared with the same quarter in 2017, this rise in delegates feeling that training helps them enormously is significant.
  • The number of organisations training new and recently appointed managers has dropped slightly year on year – with 69% of all delegates having been in their role three years or less compared with 71% during the same quarter of 2017
  • There was also a noticeable decrease in the percentage of delegates experiencing our courses who were longer-serving managers. In the first quarter, 8% of all delegates had been in their role for ten years or more – down from 13% for the same period in 2017.

Management confidence has fallen slightly compared with the same quarter last year. The chart below shows the delegates’ responses to the statement: In my opinion, things for me at work are generally better/ the same/ worse than at this time last year. Sixty-six per cent of all delegates feel that things are generally better for them than a year ago compared with 67% in the same quarter of 2017. Five per cent feel things are worse which is on a par with 2017. Management optimism has recovered somewhat from that last quarter of 2017, however, when 62% felt things were better.

From the graph below where we can see the results on a rolling month by month basis for the last year, it is refreshing to see ‘better’ scores returning to the upper 60’s for the months of December, January and February after the dips between July – November last year. However, management optimism took a downward turn again in March, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the second quarter of 2018.

Impellus achieves ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Impellus is now an ISO 9001 certified management training provider

Last week Impellus was granted ISO 9001:2015 Certification following several weeks of conformity assessment and auditing by the external certification body, Exova BM TRADA. The conformity assessment involved testing and verifying a set of processes to illustrate that Impellus’ products, services and systems meet the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard.

Quality Management System

The ISO 9001:2015 standard is based on seven quality management principles including a strong customer focus and continual improvement. The full list of principles is as follows:

QMP 1 – Customer focus

QMP 2 – Leadership

QMP 3 – Engagement of people

QMP 4 – Process approach

QMP 5 – Improvement

QMP 6 – Evidence-based decision making

QMP 7 – Relationship management

Impellus has received its certification under the new version of the ISO 9001:2015 standard which:

  • Puts greater emphasis on leadership engagement
  • Helps address organisational risks and opportunities in a structured manner
  • Addresses supply chain management more effectively
  • Uses simplified language and a common structure and terms, particularly helpful to organisations using multiple management systems
  • Is more user-friendly for service and knowledge-based organisations.

Jon Dean, Managing Director of Impellus, said: “The ISO 9001:2015 certification demonstrates that we put our customers first by delivering high quality services and will ensure that we continue to consistently meet their needs and enhance their satisfaction. It will also guarantee that we work in a more efficient way, as all our processes are aligned, which will increase productivity. The standard also demands that health, safety and environmental conditions are met. It also puts us in a strong competitive position as we start to deliver our management apprenticeships this autumn.”

The distance some will travel to attend an Impellus management course ….

Meet Yuta Watanabe – globetrotting Impellus delegate

At Impellus we’re proud that we regularly deliver leadership and management training courses at 25 different locations in the UK. With venues ranging from Edinburgh to Exeter and Norwich to Swansea, we’re confident that 95% of managers can easily reach one of our training courses.

Occasionally, we have delegates who travel the length or breadth of the country to attend a specific course – one delegate recently flew from Scotland to Birmingham. In the past, people have travelled exceptional distances to attend one of our courses – we’ve hosted delegates from Switzerland and the Middle East on our London courses.

But now we have a new record – in the week commencing 5th March we welcomed Yuta Watanabe of Plastic Mouldings, who travelled all the way from Japan. Yuta maximised on his long-haul trip by attending three Impellus courses in four days!

Three Impellus courses in four days

Yuta’s first taste of Impellus training was the Leadership Skills Development course in London on Tuesday 6th March. After this course, Yuta travelled to the East Midlands where he attended another ILM Level 3 course on Effective Communication Skills the following day. On Wednesday evening, Yuta continued his UK journey to Manchester where, on Thursday and Friday, he participated on our two-day Level 5 Strategic Thinking and Decision Making course.

Background on Plastic Mouldings

Plastic Mouldings Ltd employs over 70 people in its Manufacturing, Administration and Management teams based in Irvine, Ayrshire.  Part of the Plastics Industries Group, Plastic Mouldings has become a market leader due to its continued improvement in moulding and low cost tooling development processes over the last 50 years. It distributes its products to approx. 700 different organisations across a variety of sectors and follows a strict environmental policy to ensure that no waste ever goes to landfill.

Terry Houston, Plastic Mouldings’ Managing Director, who was responsible for booking the courses for Yuta, commented: ‘I have worked with Yuta for the last ten years and we are keen to develop his business acumen and management skills.  Having researched training providers, we chose Impellus, as its selection and timing of courses best suited our requirements. Yuta enjoyed the courses, learnt a lot and has identified where he needs to improve, which is most valuable.’

Comment from Impellus

Jon Dean, Managing Director of Impellus commented: ‘‘We run courses everyday full of managers who are making a commitment to their personal development and the performance of their teams and organisations which makes Yuta’s commitment even more outstanding. To travel across the world to attend three challenging management courses back-to-back and then fly straight back shows the level to which he’s committed. It’s a credit to him as well as our training delivery team that he continued to engage and challenge his abilities over each day. We wish him and his colleagues at Plastic Mouldings all the very best and look forward to seeing Yuta again when he’s next on this side of the globe.’