Why employ an apprentice?

The benefits are clear to see

The National Apprenticeship Service website states that 96% of employers that take on an apprentice report benefits to their business. The video below explains why employing apprentices can really help your business succeed.

For a small 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, which means whilst they are training the job is still being completed. As experience based learning is fundamental to the success of the apprenticeship, the more you can show and support them, 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 being 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 point of view along with you their employer, they will also have industry specific trainers and in some cases mentors to help the apprentice achieve the best possible level of skills, knowledge and behaviours.

Inquisitive and curious minds enable you as a business to progress, develop and innovate, Apprentices will be able to complete some quite complex projects within months of starting that push not only their newly acquired skills but also encourage their ability to problem solve. Fresh thinking comes from Apprentices. They often offer ideas and are keen to do so, and they will typically have access to the most up to date industry regulations and training materials. The biggest thing to highlight is that an Apprentice will join your business with fresh eyes, and will pick out issues and resolutions that might have eluded your team. Apprentices make a real difference to our working environments bringing new perspective you can get through the normal recruitment process. They want to become immersed in 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 show that 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 regularly become loyal, long-standing members of staff rising through the ranks of the firm 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 not just coming to work each day so that they get their pay at the end of each week or month. They are coming to learn new skills and progress so that they are not just stuck in a rut as the ‘office junior’ or the building site labourer, all the time. They want to succeed and they want to build a career. This can only benefit your company and, 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 mentioned before apprenticeships can increase staff retention, following completion of their programme, the apprentice will have built up relationships and a clear understanding of your business and its policies and processes. If they have had a positive experience within your business and they are adding value they will want to stay and continue their career with you, this in itself will enhance the commitment they have within the business. Giving an apprentice a clear career pathway and the support needed to help them achieve they will not want to leave.
Most 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 who have practical experience in the trades they are teaching in. Some providers have a day release program and some work on a block release program. You would be able to work with your training provider to provide the best program to suit you and your business.
Whilst you will need to pay your apprentice the National Minimum wage (Apprentice rate currently at £4.15) funding is available to cover many other training costs, and 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 program, this could mean an apprentice can develop their skills completing the less skilled tasks, freeing more senior team members to focus on the larger more complicated tasks with in your business. Working with a good accredited training provider you will be able to tailor the training and skills you are looking for to grow your business. In addition to building a company’s skills base, providing quality training to apprentices is also likely to bring benefits in terms of staff retention as mentioned before. A major reason for this is that staff typically feel loyal to employers who have invested in their training, and are therefore more engaged and motivated to stay.
Creating an opportunity for someone to join your team from a different or under-privileged background.

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More info

Flexi-job apprenticeship will allow agencies to be the apprentice’s employer for the duration of their apprenticeship while placing the apprentice with other host employers for short term placements. This will enable apprentices to move between businesses as they complete their apprenticeship, while remaining employed throughout by the agency.

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PAYE is HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) system to collect Income Tax and National Insurance from employment. More information are available here