Supporting Apprenticeships for SMEs

Written by Calvin Bowers

More and more apprentices are looking towards SMEs to take them under their wing, but many SMEs across the UK are still unnecessarily apprehensive.

The misconceptions around the extra effort required to recruit an apprentice are considered to be the most significant stumbling block for SMEs.

In reality, the steps taken to process a new apprentice significantly improve the benefits for both the candidate and you, the employer. It is for this reason that 96% of SMEs said apprentices helped their business.

Misconception About Apprenticeships for SMEs

The first thought many SMEs have when considering taking on an apprentice is that it is too much hassle.

Apprenticeships and the process required to set one up have changed dramatically over the years. Now, your training provider or the Digital Apprenticeship Service manages almost all the required work and organisation.

The most considerable recent change has come through the expansion in the level of qualification received, and the quality of the training provided.

This means that you could hire someone as an apprentice, who would go on to acquire a degree as a result of working for you. Additionally, the training is tailored to your needs as a business, so you also profit from the apprenticeships training.

Benefits of Apprenticeships for SMEs

It is difficult for many SMEs to have a wide array of skills, with a limited number of staff members.

As the training is tailored to the needs of your business, employing an apprentice is an effective way to expand your skillset. Even better, you can adapt the training at any point throughout the course of the apprenticeship.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that 82% of SMEs who take on apprentices do it to build their business’ skills capacity.

An equally frustrating issue for SMEs is the significant damage caused by staff leaving the company. Fortunately, staff retention consistently improves alongside the use of apprenticeships, as attested to by 69% of SMEs.

This is not just because apprentices are significantly more loyal than a standard hire. Instead, the ability for a team or individual to take an apprentice under their wing significantly improves staff morale.

If you are interested in what your business could gain from taking on an apprentice, you should read our guide on the benefits of taking on apprentices.

Guidance and Support for Recruiting an Apprentice

For further guidance on recruiting an apprentice you should look through the support pages on our website. They will take you through all the steps you need to get you on track to reaching your business’ future potential.

If you are unsure about the financial viability of apprenticeships for SMEs, you should read about the different funding available to you.

Once you have decided that an apprenticeship is right for you, the next step is choosing a training provider.

If you feel like you need support from any local authorities, you should search our page on local assistance.

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Last Updated: Tuesday February 14 2023
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