Apprenticeships are a brilliant next step for people of all ages. They bring eager staff into businesses like yours in a cost-effective way, whilst allowing employees to earn as they train.

Despite the long list of benefits, it can be hard for employers to find the right apprentices for their business. There’s still a lot of misinformation regarding apprenticeships, including many young people being wrongly funnelled into higher education.

At Employing an Apprentice, we feel it is beneficial to everyone if businesses like yours take active steps to encourage people from all walks of life to consider starting an apprenticeship. You can do this by visiting schools and colleges, targeting those who might need a career refresh, or attending career fairs.

Careers fairs are events where future apprentices or employees walk around a large hall and get the opportunity to meet businesses like you. Here is the time to show all you can offer these young people and encourage them to come and start an apprenticeship.

Students usually do not have much time with each employer; they may stop to have a five-minute chat and grab a leaflet, to hear the important information about your apprenticeships and get a feel for you as a business. For many young people, it’s their first chance to scope out the world of employment, so they usually want to find out as much information as possible, despite the limited time frame. For this reason, you need to make sure you prepare to deliver as much information as possible within a narrow window of time.

As well as these individual conversations and leaflets, you may want to offer more structured events throughout the day. This could include a sign-up sheet for practice 5-minute interviews, where you can show the apprentices what you are looking for in an employee. Or you could host a short formal talk on your business, so those interested can get the advice they need. This kind of extra event makes your business stand out against the other hundreds of companies at the fair. You can attract a larger audience than you would to your stall, therefore reaching a much wider pool of talent. You want to do everything you can to get people to remember who you are and what you have to offer.

At a careers fair, you must remember that your stall is an advert for your business and your company culture. Therefore, you want a team of lively, positive staff to represent your business and create the right reputation in schools, colleges, and universities. These events are usually the only informal opportunity between the employer and employee to meet and interact before the application process.

It’s crucial to show potential candidates that you are trying to build a good relationship between both parties and trying to make what is a stressful process and period for the candidate as relaxing as possible. You want to make sure that your business is doing all that it can to create the right atmosphere. For more advice, visit our page Tips for Attracting Apprentices.

Many in-person events have been cancelled due to Covid-19. So, it can be a difficult time for employers and employees to connect. In this challenging economy, you need more promotion of your business, not less. Make sure you are exploring all virtual options such as social media, your website, chat forums, and virtual careers fairs.

To find out more about attending a careers fair as an employer, visit our page Why Attend a Careers Fair.