One in five firms are already enjoying the numerous benefits of taking on an apprentice. Apprenticeships make great business sense because they help employers to address a number of problems such as productivity, skills shortages, staff retention etc.
It's now never been easier to hire an apprentice, thanks to the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017 and the variety of funding opportunities available. Eligible employers can now receive 100% of their training costs funded by the government.
The Apprenticeship Skill Set
Apprenticeships are one way to match available talent with the specific skills they need. It enables your business to grow your talent pipeline for the future.
Inquisitive and curious minds enable you as a business to progress, develop and innovate. Apprentices will be able to complete complex projects within months of starting that push not only their newly acquired skills but also encourage their ability to problem solve.
An Apprentice will be keen to offer ideas, and they will typically have access to the most up to date industry regulations and training materials. The biggest thing to highlight is that an Apprentice will join your business with fresh eyes, and will pick out issues and resolutions that might have eluded your team.
Soft Skill Shortages
Apprenticeships address soft skill shortages. While graduates are often technically excellent, many of them have no experience of normal working life, meaning they haven't developed workplace skills including, but not limited to, up-management, negotiating/influencing, commercial awareness, and business communication. Apprenticeships, however, embed education within employment so apprentices will develop these business skills alongside their technical education.
Increased Staff Retention
Apprenticeship data show that businesses that have an Apprenticeship programme running have higher staff retention rates and staff commitment levels. Successful Apprentices regularly become loyal, long-standing members of staff rising through the ranks of the firm with little disruption to operations. According to the report by skills funding agency 80% of companies who invest in apprentices report an increase in overall employee retention.
More than three-quarters (76%) of employers who employ Apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive, according to data compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service. Skills learnt on an Apprenticeship will increase your employee's ability to do their job, enhancing their performance and ultimately your bottom line.
Are Apprenticeships a right fit for your company?
Every employer and employee wants to get the most out of their apprenticeship. It's true that Apprenticeships aren't right for every business however, and there are many factors that can influence their success.
One of the benefits of an apprenticeship is to put the academic theory into practise inside the workplace. if you can't find tasks that allow an apprentice to apply their learning then you won't get the most out of them.
Apprentices may also need a different type of line manager to your other workers. Their manager must be adept at working with someone very different to them. Techniques that helped experienced senior staff to flourish will not necessarily work on a 16-year-old who is straight out of school.
Their managers must also be patient, as new apprentices have a steep learning curve ahead of them. They're also developing their knowledge as they go - in the way a graduate may make errors in a tutorial class, an apprentice might make errors at work.
Whether you are looking to upskill an existing employee or take on someone new. Whatever sector you are in, there are so many benefits that employing an apprentice can bring your business.