Hiring an Apprentice as a Small Business
We’ve talked about apprenticeships quite a bit, but how can we not? When they provide a win-win situation for both the company and the apprentice. Are you a small business? Do you know the benefits of having an apprentice in a small business? If not then you’re in the right place! Hiring an apprentice is a great opportunity to boost your talent pool. We’re going to go over some benefits for you of hiring an apprentice.
Let’s have a quick recap though on what is an apprenticeship.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a work-based training programme, where they learn while working. As an apprentice, they get real-world experience, gain qualifications as well as get paid. An apprentice then becomes fully trained in the chosen occupation. There is a range of apprenticeships across the UK. The list is endless. This could include:
- Customer Service
- Health and Social Care
- Digital Marketing
Apprentices are employed directly by their employer (you). Or via an Apprenticeship Training provider. Apprenticeships are a useful way for businesses to recruit and train new employees. Or to train existing employees to widen their skills and knowledge.
What you should do
An apprentice should not be in full-time education and therefore must be over the age of 16. There are many benefits to employing both 16 to 18-year-olds and 19 to 24-year-olds. However, no one is too old to complete an apprenticeship. It is just common for school leavers to take on an apprenticeship as it gets them ready for work, and maybe college or university isn’t the right path for them. But you can employ apprentices at different levels, such as school leavers, University graduates to mature students who want to change careers or who want to further their careers.
The apprenticeship should last for a minimum of a year. They also must be paid for their working hours, which should be at least 30 hours per week. They also have to have off-the-job training which makes 20% of their working hours to do any required training they need to improve their role. You can also visit the government website which that will give you more information!
So what are the benefits for you as a small business?
Benefits of hiring an Apprentice
There are many advantages when hiring an apprentice. Here are just a few!
A committed workforce
One of the main benefits of taking on an apprentice is that it helps create a dedicated and loyal workforce. Most of them are school or college leavers who may have a lot of energy in wanting to learn and make a career. 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation, as well as increased employee retention as they bring a dynamic end fresh set of perspectives with them.
Apprentices often become loyal employees, as 90% often stay on after their qualification has finished. Meaning you have another employee who is trained completely to your standard and wants to stay within the company.
You can bridge the skills gap
As of right now, there is a massive skills gap in some sectors. Apprentices are a great way to bridge that. There is a gap in construction, Tech/IT, and cyber security, to name just a few. Some companies find it hard to recruit people with particular skills that want to move their business forward. This way you can train someone from the beginning to shape them to fit your needs of the business, being specifically for that purpose as well as others to improve your business.
A fresh perspective
As an apprentice, they may not have any actual workplace experience, but they can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas. This becomes extremely valuable to a growing business. Younger people may have stronger technology skills that come from using computers and other tools such as social media from a young age. They can use this knowledge to build an advantage. They may know something you don’t in this regard that would be beneficial to the business.
Hiring an apprentice has many benefits, one of them is that it can boost your team’s productivity. 78% of employers have reported productivity increasing. Especially after they have introduced an apprenticeship scheme or hired an apprentice. This comes down to them being eager to learn. They’re enthusiastic about gaining the qualification as it aligns with their career paths. The apprentice will get to learn hands-on with your team, giving you an extra pair of hands and training them up on how you would like, to fit your business.
Tailored to you
The apprenticeship can be tailored for you. As we’ve said before you can train the apprentice from the beginning and be able to fit their training to how you want them to. This is about fitting the needs of your business. Not only that but there is a vast number of apprenticeships you can take on. This could be finance, digital marketing, manufacturing or software engineering. The possibilities are endless. It also depends on what your business needs.
You also have the freedom to choose your training provider, as well as the apprenticeship standard that would fit your business. That would also meet your needs. This in turn becomes a long term business investment. You are able to grow other areas of your business. So thinking about the long run, you can employ an apprentice to future proof.