Here at Employing an Apprentice we want to inform you of all the benefits that providing apprenticeships can bring, no matter what size or type of business you may be.
We understand there will be varying barriers to uptake depending on whether you are an SME, a large enterprise or a public sector organisation, but our aim is to dispel all doubt and make you aware of the rewards associated with hiring an apprentice.
Addressing the Skills Gap
With the growing skills gap in the UK becoming a very real concern, particularly in the aftermath of Brexit and “the Great Resignation”, it is essential that businesses consider upskilling their workforce. Apprenticeships provide the perfect opportunity to train and equip an individual with a specific skill set required for your business.
Training an individual for a particular job role within your organisation is an area where apprenticeships excel, with over two-thirds of businesses keeping on the apprentice at the culmination of their apprenticeship. Retention of staff is also something that is increasingly necessary for businesses that need to minimise the effects of the skills gap.
Offering the chance of career progression through an apprenticeship for existing staff can provide a real incentive to stay on, rather than seek alternative employment elsewhere. This is a great way to both shore up employee morale generally and give a boost to the people who are going to take your company forward.
Helping the Next Generation
Although apprenticeships are open to any age group, they are most popular as the first step in someone’s career. By employing an apprentice, you are contributing to helping the next generation to get their foot on the employment ladder. More so now than ever, after the devastating impacts of both Brexit and Covid-19 on the UK economy, it is important to give young people the best opportunities for employment in the future.
There need to be opportunities for those coming through and apprenticeships provide the perfect basis upon which to build. Apprenticeship standards mean that no matter where in the country you are based, you can be sure that an apprentice completing a particular apprenticeship standard will be equipped with the relevant job skills and knowledge to make a success of their working life.
Barriers to Offering an Apprenticeship
Some businesses perceive that there are barriers to offering an apprenticeship, but these are often difficulties that can be mitigated when the correct advice and information have been supplied. Becoming more informed about the process of hiring an apprentice makes it look all the more attractive to companies.
Common barriers associated with employing an apprentice include:
- The cost associated with hiring an apprentice
Cost implications that arise from hiring an apprentice may be less than you think. Once an SME has agreed to a funding contract with a training provider, the Government will meet 95% of the costs incurred. You will still have to pay the apprentice but the larger part of the costs will not be borne by your organisation.
- The need to make the business apprenticeship friendly
Doing this is relatively simple. Ensure that one person is assigned as the mentor for the apprentice and let them be their main point of contact within the company. This means that they will be working closely together and the apprentice will be able to learn from their mentor and other employees.
- Finding appropriate training providers
Approaching training providers is relatively simple. There is a register of apprenticeship training providers, so you do not have to go out and find one all on your own. There are reviews online of their merits and drawbacks and it should be relatively easy to find one that covers your location and also the area of work that you do.
Apprenticeships Provide Value
We understand that for all businesses, finances are extremely important. And for the many SME’s who have been detrimentally impacted by Covid-19, we know that keeping costs low is a priority. Apprenticeships in fact provide the opportunity for funding for new staff.
The government cover a certain percentage of training costs depending on your company size, and there is a range of incentive payments for employers that make apprenticeships an attractive option.
You do have to pay the apprentice a wage, however this will only be the National Minimum Wage for their age, most probably a significantly lower amount than if you were to pay a more experienced individual. There are continuous updates on funding and schemes available to businesses and it is our aim to keep you updated on our funding page.
Despite having to find an appropriate training provider yourself, there are many tools and guidance out there to choose the best one for you and your business. It is imperative to choose a training provider that communicates well, has a high pass rate with previous apprentices, has a high employer and apprentice satisfaction rating and ultimately sits well within the culture and mission of your business.
This may involve some research but there are a great many out there who should be able to do a really good job for you and ensure that your employees learn all that they need to, from an academic standpoint. The on-the-job training at the company will help them to improve their transferable skills and should prove to be every bit as important as the off-the-job training that they receive with the training provider.
Once you have selected a training provider they can help with a multitude of things including recruiting and interviewing apprentices, preparing your apprentice for the workplace, finding an appropriate place of learning and ensuring the skills being taught are appropriate for your business.
So with all this support and guidance available, why wouldn’t you want to hire an apprentice?
Find out more about specific benefits to employing an apprentice for your type of business:
If you want to know how we can help your business specifically, get in touch with a member of our team. Be sure to also check out our Services for Employers page, including help with advertising your roles using our dedicated Apprenticeship Jobs Board, creating a company profile, and more.