Annie Button, professional content writer and branding aficionado, explores the benefits of hiring apprentices.
Apprenticeships are an exciting prospect for people of all ages, from school leavers seeking much-needed work experience to career changers looking to build their skills in a new sector. In fact, the advantages of apprenticeships for individuals seeking better career prospects have led to a rapid increase in applications in recent years. But it’s not just a potential asset for individuals. There are opportunities for employers to benefit from offering apprenticeships and hiring trainees too. Here, we take a look at some of the benefits of hiring apprentices for businesses, from filling skill gaps to increasing productivity.
The first benefit might surprise you but it’s something that more and more companies are taking advantage of. Many businesses aren’t aware that they can use government funding to pay for apprenticeship training and assessments if they’re a levy-paying employer. Non-levy paying employers can share the cost of the apprenticeship training with the government. It’s an incentive scheme that was implemented to boost the economy and fill skills gaps in various industries in the UK. While the apprentice’s salary is still the employer’s responsibility, the funding can be used for training or incentive purposes such as their uniform or travel.
Fill skills gaps
Apprenticeships give businesses an opportunity to fill skills gaps within their organisation, but they can also be helpful in enabling companies to expand their workforce without needing to spend money on recruitment. For example, skilled tradespeople have been in demand for the past year. By hiring an apprentice, whether it’s a building firm in need of construction workers or an electrical company seeking qualified professionals, you’ll have someone on your team that’s industry qualified, has hands-on experience of the key subjects and has benefitted from front-loaded learning where they’ve picked up valuable skills and knowledge along the way.
Working with apprentices helps people get a foot in the door of an industry they don’t yet have experience or qualifications to work in, and that’s something that can enhance your reputation as an employer because it encourages loyalty. Many apprentices, if given the opportunity by the company they’ve been training with, will choose to stay on with the company and take on a full-time job once their apprenticeship has come to an end because they’ve been supported in their career. It’s a bonus for both parties, enabling apprentices to get a job quickly after qualifying and businesses to take on a skilled member of the team who already understands the nuances of the business.
According to government research, 78% of employers benefited from improved productivity when they implemented an apprenticeship scheme, and with good reason. Apprentices are eager to learn and build up their skills, so they’re naturally more inclined to put in the extra effort and go above and beyond what’s asked of them. They’re typically very enthusiastic about their chosen qualification and new career path, whether they’re just leaving education or choosing a new career after years in the workforce. In supporting their growth and education, you’ll benefit from an extra pair of hands while running your business and your overall productivity will increase, which in turn will boost your bottom line.
Apprentices can bring a fresh perspective to your team. If they’re younger, they also bring tech skills and older apprentices bring with them a wealth of work experience and relevant skills that can benefit your business. Apprenticeships are ideal for adding talent to your team and gaining diversity in the process by hiring people who have different backgrounds to the usual route into your industry. Every business can gain from the unique experience and combination of skills that apprentices have to offer, whether this is their first time working for an employer or not. It’s a technique that big brands like Microsoft and IBM have already implemented to transform their workforce.
Tailored to your needs
Apprenticeships have improved considerably over the years, and they’re no longer a standard design. In fact, there’s a host of different apprenticeships to choose from in all types of industry or specialism. Whether your business operates in the tech sphere, finance, marketing or is service-based, there are apprenticeships helping people get into the roles your industry provides. This means that you can hire apprentices and shape them to fit the needs of your business, simply by choosing a provider or apprenticeship programme that meets your requirements.
By hiring apprentices, businesses can benefit from a diversified team of eager and enthusiastic employees, but they’ll also have the opportunity to grow their business, improve productivity and fill skills gaps that are having a negative impact on their operations. Apprenticeships have come a long way. There’s a scheme or apprenticeship programme for every individual and business alike, helping companies to build high calibre teams and encourage increased loyalty and motivation among their staff.