Using the Apprenticeship Levy to deliver on Capita’s leadership and digital talent strategy 

Capita is a leading consulting, digital services and software business. Corndel has worked with Capita since 2019, serving as a strategic partner to the Talent and Development team and providing apprenticeship courses to more than 1,100 employees across all six business divisions.

Capita prides itself on offering its 61,000-strong workforce access to a huge range of unique and diverse development opportunities, which offer real career progression. The firm was looking for a training provider that:

Offered vocational training in business-critical areas

Such development opportunities are seen as key to Capita’s core purpose of ‘creating better outcomes’; and supporting employees to expand their horizons, make an impact and shape the company’s future.

Understood Capita’s culture and objectives

To ensure that training aligns with the wider organisational goals.

Would deliver consistently high quality training

Supporting the Capita team to optimise their Apprenticeship Levy.

Our Approach

Capita initially put 250 existing managers and leaders on Corndel’s 13-month leadership and management programmes, aligned to the Level 3 and Level 5 apprenticeship standards. They wanted to provide a career-changing learning opportunity to help aspiring and existing managers adopt new approaches, build connections and grow into confident, competent leaders. Prior to the launch of the first cohort, we spent time with Capita’s L&D team – having in-depth conversations with Lisa Pinfield, Group Head of Talent & Development and her team to understand more about Capita’s business and the make-up of their workforce.

We identified four critical success factors for the programmes:


Each course has its own identity and fits within the Capita Academy portfolio. The programmes were named Accelerate and Advance and we produced Capita branded participant guides to give learners clear information and a sense of pride in joining a highly regarded community of mid-career apprentices.


The programmes are well resourced with a pool of exceptional coaches. We built a 15-strong team of Professional Development Expert (PDE) coaches from our faculty of highly experienced professionals. We selected those who we knew would be a good fit for Capita’s culture, each with extensive experience.


The Capita L&D team is fully supported by a dedicated Corndel Account Management Team. We wanted to be a valued partner to the Capita team, both in terms of strategic thinking and by taking on much of the heavy lifting around apprenticeship enrolments, onboarding and progress checks. We made it our business to be close to each learner, to monitor their progress and to provide regular feedback to the centralised L&D team. We used our extensive collective apprenticeship experience to advise on and manage the enrolment process. We work as one team, diligently providing an exceptional learning experience and outcomes.


The line managers of learners commit to setting their direct reports up for success. We knew it was critical to engage line managers, raising awareness about the programme and what it would entail. We ran dedicated briefing sessions and provided Capita branded line manager guides packed with Q&As and supporting information. We emphasised the requirement for line managers to attend quarterly reviews to get feedback on learner progress and to support them in embedding their new skills and knowledge.

Capita is a large organisation with an array of different divisions and job roles. As our model is based on one-to-one coaching, we are able to take a situational, learner-led approach. If a PDE is working with a Customer Management employee, for example, they will have a deep understanding of how the individual’s goals align with both the vision of that particular division as well as with Capita’s wider ‘create better outcomes’ vision. The huge success of this programme draws heavily on our ability to work at such a granular level, flexing the learning material to resonate with individual learners.
Alex Greaves, Corndel Delivery Director

A growing portfolio of courses

The initial Accelerate and Advance cohort of 250 learners doubled in the first six months. In January 2020, the team added Project Management to their apprenticeship offering:

“Capita has been working with Corndel for almost a year now and 450 Capita colleagues have benefited from joining their programmes. This year we have enrolled 100 learners onto the Level 4 Diploma in Project Management. The programme has been seamlessly adapted to 100% virtual delivery of workshops and the personalised one-to-one coaching, a feature of all Corndel courses, is proving to be more valuable than ever.

We’re hearing great things about how this highly practical programme, which is tailored to Capita, is already building learners’ confidence in formalising their approach to and management of a range of projects. I would highly recommend the programme to those looking to scale-up project management capability at such a critical time.” Lisa Pinfield, Group Head of Talent & Development, Capita

Six months later, Capita took advantage of the new-to-market DevOps Engineering apprenticeship, choosing Corndel to deliver specialist training to 21 technologists from across the organisation.

Capita’s Rosanna Williamson, Head of Performance and Development for the Technology Solutions division, has championed this programme and is excited to see it up and running so quickly. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our first cohort of learners who will develop their DevOps skills and support the wider DevOps transition. Having a talented group of colleagues building their DevOps capability will not only benefit Capita and our clients, but offers the individual learners enviable career development. To be able to deliver this through our Apprenticeship Levy is ideal.”

Capita were confident that the high standards of delivery through the Leadership Academy would be replicated through Corndel’s Digital Academy.

Since 2019 the Capita and Corndel partnership has gone from strength to strength, successfully enrolling 1,100+ employees​ across a range of skills development programmes for Leadership and Management, Data and Tech. 

With team members on both the leadership and project management programmes, I’m really impressed with what Corndel are providing. Very well organised with experienced and knowledgeable staff providing the right levels of learning and support.
Everything is exactly how I’d want it to be and is actually exceeding my expectations. Thank you for taking care of our staff.
Adam Gwilliam, Head of Operations Client Management at Capita

Making an impact

The fast growth of the Corndel apprenticeship programmes in terms of numbers of Capita learners and new courses being launched is testament to the value the training brings.



We invite learners to complete a monthly satisfaction survey. 82% of learners report being ‘more confident in their ability to perform in the workplace’ and 89% agreed or strongly agreed ‘they received high quality support from Corndel.

The Corndel course is a delight to be part of and the support I have had from Capita is immense. As part of the budgeting module I was given the opportunity to decide on a Reward and Recognition scheme and manage the whole budget. The constant support of my Professional Development Expert coach has been a critical factor in my success. Colleagues have recognised my progress within the course and watched me grow as a leader. I would 100% recommend this to anyone who wants to follow a leadership career path. I’m proud to be part of Accelerate.
Jay-Lewis Illingworth

With Covid-19 came a shift to fully online delivery of workshops. Our priority was to give all learners the support they needed at that moment – flexing to suit the vast range of different needs according to personal circumstance. The result is that the learners themselves felt supported and were therefore better able to lead their own teams through challenging times:

I genuinely thought that the online workshop worked really well, I got as much from this as the full day onsite sessions, with the positive of no travel needs and smaller sessions that I find more engaging.
Advance leadership programme learner
We partner with Corndel as a leading provider of management and digital skills training. We are committed to offering our people high quality development that is fully aligned with our organisational strategy. In-demand skills such as leadership, project management and data essentials will continue to form a critical part of our talent strategy.
Lisa Pinfield, Group Head of Talent & Development is proud of how the team has invested the Apprenticeship Levy through Corndel
Good communication has always been important, but during lockdown I was aware that I needed to adjust my communication style to ensure that everyone was supported, engaged and motivated. I listened to them, praised them and made them feel valued. I also had to have a lot of tough conversations, however, my team felt like they were always kept up to date and they knew what was required from them. Lockdown brought a whole new range of emotions which meant more intense conversations, I was able to use my emotional intelligence and active listening skills to support the team through this period.
Rebecca Nangle

Of mutual benefit to individual learners and Capita, is the fact that learners on Corndel programmes are encouraged and empowered to take on more responsibility within their roles. For some this means promotions, for others it means having specific recommendations and projects adopted by the business, driving efficiencies and cost-savings.

Steve Wheatland from Capita Technology Solutions was recently promoted to Senior Project Manager, looking after a portfolio of projects. He is now managing a larger team and credits the Advance programme as being a valuable resource and support during this transition.

The course opened my eyes to managing people better, including understanding and empathising with people’s challenges. There is a high level of trust within my new team, due to a deliberate effort on my part to be open, honest and empower them – acknowledging that I don’t know everything and leaning on their technical expertise when I need to. The course has also been great for internal networking and I would highly recommend the course to other managers. I am also pushing for my own direct reports to take the Level 3 Accelerate programme.
Steve Wheatland, Senior Project Manager Capita Technology Solutions

A long-term partnership

Corndel courses are now continually in demand and learners from all six business divisions have been accepted onto a programme. To satisfy this demand, the Capita team is planning three cohorts per year for Leadership and Project Management courses, with two new cohorts per year for each of the Data Essentials and DevOps Engineering programmes.

Built on deep levels of trust, the Corndel-Capita Partnership has gone from strength to strength. The L&D team know they can rely on a first-class service and top quality, industry-accredited content, delivered through engaging workshops and regular one-to-one coaching.

To find out more about optimising your Apprenticeship Levy to develop your leaders and drive digital transformation, get in touch:

I have worked closely with the Corndel team for more than a year. As well as being readily available to discuss the practical detail around running the apprenticeship programmes, they are great thinking partners as we discuss new opportunities and collaboratively problem-solve. It’s clear that we share the passion of delighting learners, providing them with first-class development that helps them grow in their careers.
Gemma Squire is responsible for building the apprenticeship programme for Capita and anticipates around 1000 more learners joining Corndel programmes over the next two years.

Learn more about our programmes below: