Why employ an apprentice?
The benefits are clear to see
For any business it can be difficult to see how employing an apprentice could help you and your business,
but it is worth considering, especially now that the Government are able to provide financial
support to train your apprentice. The benefits to employing an apprentice are huge and will provide
you with an excellent return on your investment. Use our cost calculator to see how much training an apprentice in your field would cost.
A breakdown of how apprentices can help your business grow
Apprenticeships can be tailored to specific job roles, making them flexible to the needs of your business. The added advantage is that you will effectively train a new employee to think and act in the interests of your business from day one, knowing that they haven’t already picked up any bad practice from previous roles.
Injecting some apprentice talent into your business can add a new dimension to your workforce, bringing with it a fresh perspective and new ideas. This in turn can help existing employees and spark an overall boost in business productivity. The National Apprenticeship Service website states that 96% of employers that take on an apprentice report benefits to their business. It also states that 72% of businesses report improved productivity as a result of employing an apprentice.
As well as boosting productivity, apprenticeships can also help companies to compete in the modern marketplace. In industry research, 77% of employers agreed that taking on apprentices helped to make their organisations more competitive. It also found that more than 80% of customers prefer to buy from companies that employ apprentices.
Apprenticeships are a cost-effective form of training. The majority of the training is completed on the job, so they’re learning whilst the job is still being completed. Experience based learning is fundamental to the success of the apprenticeship. The more you can show and support apprentices, the more effective they will be and the more value they will add to you and your business long term. With the cost of training covered by the government funding, it really is an effective way to build a skilled workforce. The apprentices have access to the most current training methods and have some of the best training facilities. From a support perspective, along with you as their employer, they will also have industry specific trainers and, in some cases, mentors to help them achieve the best possible level of skills, knowledge and behaviours.
Inquisitive and curious minds enable your business to progress, develop and innovate. Apprentices will be able to complete fairly complex projects within months of starting, which push their newly acquired skills and also encourage their ability to problem solve. Fresh thinking and perspective comes from employing apprentices as they often offer ideas and, typically have access to the most up to date industry regulations and training materials. An apprentice will join your business with fresh eyes and help to identify any issues, as well as offer new solutions that might have eluded your team. They want to become immersed within your industry and, as they learn and develop with their qualification, we have seen them bring in a wealth of pioneering ideas and trends – so your whole team will end up learning something new.
Apprenticeship data shows businesses that have an apprenticeship programme running, have higher staff retention rates and staff commitment levels. Apprentices infuse new energy into teams and help create a more approachable environment. Successful apprentices become loyal and committed members of staff rising through the ranks of the organisation with little disruption to operations. National Apprenticeship Service data shows 80% of companies who invest in apprentices have reported a significant increase in employee retention. Meanwhile, more than half (57%) of employers report a high proportion of their apprentices going on to management positions.
Apprentices are committed to learning new skills and progressing, so they are not stuck in a rut as the ‘office junior’ or the building site labourer coming to work each day to get their pay at the end of each week or month. They want to succeed and build a career. This can only benefit your company. In fact, lots of UK employers who have been hiring apprentices for many years say they believe the continued success of their business depends on strong, sustainable apprenticeship programmes.
As previously outlined, apprenticeships can increase staff retention. Following completion of their programme, the apprentice will have built up relationships and a clear understanding of your business as well as its policies and processes. If they have had a positive experience within your business and are adding value, they will want to stay and continue their career with you. Providing an apprentice with a clear career pathway, and the necessary support, will help them to achieve and will enhance the commitment they have to the business.
The majority of the apprenticeship training will be completed whilst at work on the job. However, some training providers have specific training facilities with state of the art equipment and training methods, which means your apprentice is being given the most up to date skills and knowledge from tutors with practical experience in the industry. Some providers have a day release programme and others work on a block release programme. You would be able to work with your training provider to provide the best programme to suit you and your business.
Whilst you will need to pay your apprentice the National Minimum wage (apprentice rate is currently at £4.15), funding is available to cover many other training costs. Remember that whilst they are training, they are also making a contribution to your workplace.
This also helps develop the skills needed to future proof your business. Learning on the job is part of the apprenticeship programme, meaning an apprentice can develop their skills completing the low-skilled tasks, freeing more senior team members to focus on the larger more complicated tasks within your business. By working with an accredited training provider, you will be able to tailor the training and develop the skills you are looking for to help grow your business. By providing quality training, you are also more likely to improve your staff retention. Typically, employees are more loyal to employers who have invested in their training, as they are more engaged and motivated to stay.
Taking on an apprentice can create an opportunity for someone to join your team from a more diverse or under-privileged background.