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The Benefits of Employing an Apprentice

The Benefits of Employing an Apprentice2022-05-10T16:49:33+01:00

Every year apprenticeships are becoming more popular in the U.K. They are proving themselves to be great alternatives to traditional employment methods, both for those becoming an apprentice and those employing an apprentice.

Both the U.K. government and many U.K. businesses are investing in new ways to develop the skills of the British workforce, to provide new opportunities, and to make the U.K. a better place both to work and to employ. One clear and simple way they have found to do that is to hire apprentices and provide apprenticeship opportunities. In fact, apprenticeships are at the very heart of the U.K.’s post-Covid recovery plan.

There are a number of new schemes and funding opportunities being made available to businesses across the country, and apprenticeships are on the rise.

So, why should you hire one? Why should you take part in The Great Apprenticeship Boom?

Let’s talk about it.

What Exactly Are the Benefits of Employing an Apprentice?

  • Apprenticeships Are Cost-Effective for You and Your Company

    70% of businesses agree that apprenticeships are a crucial part of helping businesses recover from the impact of the pandemic. Removing that gap between studying and practising helps move people into employment quicker and helps businesses thrive with skilled employees. Depending on the size of your business, the government can help you cover the costs involved with hiring and training an apprentice and so not only are you getting workers in quicker, but you are also being compensated for it too.

    A study looking into the impact of apprenticeships on the U.K. economy found that gaining an apprenticeship “raised an employee’s gross productivity by £214 per week on average”, with higher numbers for different sectors. In short, apprentices can be more productive in their workplace due to their highly specialised training, and this can bring in more profit for the company at large.

    Win-win.

    If you are taking on an inexperienced candidate for your apprenticeship, you could cut costs in terms of payroll output, as the national minimum wage for an apprentice is just £4.15. In addition to this, according to Oxford Economics, the average cost of employee turnover is around £25,000. £25,000 to recruit, find someone new, and train them to an acceptable level. With an apprentice, not only are you reducing your wage bill, but your current employees also won’t have to divert their attention to training a new member of staff, as the apprentice will be participating in external training.

  • Apprenticeships Can Increase and Refresh Staff Morale

    Taking on apprentices has been shown to increase staff morale. They can diversify and refresh your workplace, bringing lots of skill and knowledge with them. 73% of employers said that staff morale was improved as a direct result of taking on apprentices.

    Now more than ever, experienced employees are feeling unsatisfied at work. In fact, a recent study found that 47% of people don’t find their career fulfilling. This may be because staff don’t feel challenged or aren’t excited by the content of their work.

    An increasing number of experienced professionals are looking for a career change at 30, 40 or even 50 years old. Instead of losing some of your best assets, you could offer them an apprenticeship and refresh their career entirely. Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers, and you don’t have to join a new company to begin one. Offering an apprenticeship is a great way to bring new skills into your business while ensuring your staff are upskilling, growing, and staying up to date with the market.

  • Apprenticeships Can Help You Keep Your Staff Long-term

    As well as keeping your staff happy and encouraged, offering apprenticeships in your company also allows you to keep your staff altogether.

    69% of employers say that hiring apprentices helped them improve staff retention, and 69% of those who took apprenticeships said they stay working for the company that trained them in the first place. Not only can apprenticeships keep your staff happy, but they can also keep them loyal. This prevents high staff turnover and all the costs and time waste associated with this.

  • Apprentices Can Help You Meet Your Business Needs and Goals

    Unlike other training methods, an apprentice is specifically trained to suit the needs of your business. You can tailor and adapt exactly what your apprentice learns so it’s as relevant to their role as possible.

    86% of employers believe that their apprentices are integral to filling the skills gap in their businesses. With the economy changing faster than ever, new skills are crucial to business operations keeping up with the times. With an apprenticeship, you can adapt your apprentice’s training to suit those ever-adapting needs and maximise the investment to suit your business goals.

    You end up with not only the best employees but specifically the best employees for you.

  • Employing Apprentices Can Improve Your Company Image

    Apprenticeships offer opportunities to those who may have not been able to utilise traditional education and employment channels. For this reason, they are widely recognised as a positive initiative for equal and accessible recruitment.

    As such, it has been found by the National Apprenticeship Service that 80% of customers would choose a business over a competitor if they knew they employed apprentices. And, despite the fact apprenticeships are cost-effective, 25% of consumers even stated they would pay more for a product or service if they knew the business employed apprentices.

    Offering apprenticeships shows that you and your company are dedicated to fair employment, accessible education, and improving the workforce as a whole. Customers like this, competitors can’t compete against this.

  • Appropriate For All Ages

    Apprenticeships have changed a lot over recent years, such that they are no longer just a pathway for lower-qualified training. This means there are not only benefits in apprenticeships for 16-year-olds but for adult apprenticeships in the workplace too.

    The Bottom Line…

    Offering apprenticeships as an employer has so much to offer you, your company, your pre-existing staff, and the apprentices themselves.

    Apprenticeships help grow the economy and they are helping the world of business rebuild in a post-pandemic world.  With the government investing £100m in the National Retraining Scheme just last year, everyone is on the side of apprentices right now. By joining this side too, you can stay at the top of your game as a company. You can improve your profit margin, improve the skills of your staff, and show yourself to be an ethical and forward-thinking company.

    If that isn’t enough to convince you to employ an apprentice, I don’t know what would be!

    If you feel ready to take on an apprentice, you can start searching for a training provider, advertising your vacancy on our specialist Apprenticeship Job Board, have a browse of our services, or get in touch to see how we can best support you.

Frequently asked questions

Can You Take On an Apprentice as a Sole Trader?2022-03-11T16:15:15+00:00

In the past year, there have been many changes in the way that apprenticeships work. This has significantly improved their overall quality for both apprentice and employer but has meant that the employer must meet specific standards before they can take on an apprentice.

These standards are the same as those met by anyone becoming an employer. As such, if you are a sole trader, you must have an Accounts Office Reference number, which you receive when you sign up to HMRC as an employer. Additionally, you will then need to set up to make PAYE payments to HMRC. Although this may take some time for a first-time employer, it is certainly possible.

If you are a sole trader who does not want to employ anyone else, you can hire an apprentice by using an Apprenticeship Training Agency. This agency will officially employ the apprentice and will arrange training and all other bits of administration, but the apprentice will work in your organisation.

How Can an Employer Hire an Apprentice Within the UK?2022-03-11T16:22:08+00:00

Employing an apprentice in the UK somewhat depends on the employer type: SME, Large Enterprise or Public Sector. However, all employers now manage their apprenticeships through the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS).

This can seem intimidation for some employers with fewer resources at their disposal, but in reality, their chosen training provider will manage payments and such. This includes accessing any of the funding that your organisation is eligible.

A further question is how to find and get an apprentice. Searching and finding an appropriate candidate is time-consuming, which is why we have set up a jobs board to help connect the best employers to the best candidates across the UK.

How Long Will an Apprenticeship Last?2022-03-11T16:25:15+00:00

By definition, apprenticeships in the UK must last at least 12 months but can have a recommended duration of up to six years for degree apprenticeships. In the development of the apprenticeship standards by apprenticeship trailblazers and the government, they agreed that each apprenticeship scheme must involve at least one year’s worth of the combined on-the-job and off-the-job training to receive the minimum qualification.

As the apprentice cannot have previously received any of the training or knowledge to start the apprenticeship, there is no reason for the apprenticeship to last any less than 12 months. However, each apprentice is different, such that it is not uncommon for them to need longer than the minimum duration before being capable of passing the end point assessment.

Apprenticeships can be part-time, which would further extend the duration of the apprenticeship in relation to the reduction in hours per week.

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