It’s not just Lord Sugar that could do with some apprentices…
In our opinion, employing an apprentice or 2 in any organisation is hugely under valued. And in our experience, the benefits (including saving and making the organisation money) an apprentice can provide far out way any potential pit-falls.
We speak through real-time experience. Currently we have Maddie (18), who is on a business administration apprenticeship and an extremely bright young adult. We already see Maddie as a valuable team member, not just for now, but long in to the future.
Apprentices are a perfect solution for us, as it enables us to train someone right from the very beginning in our values to create a working identify that fits the culture of our team. Which is much easier than trying to shoe horn someone in to the team culture, who may have the wrong identity and values. This can only lead to frustration and unhappiness on both sides.
Recruiting an apprentice within an organisation is also a positive way to fill any skills gaps. Did you know 89% of employers who employ apprentices rely on their apprenticeship programme to provide the skilled workers they need for the future.
We can only comment on the positive contributions that apprentices make to our organisation. And to back this up, a Government survey in 2016 shows 75% of employers reported that apprentices helped their organisation improve the quality of their product or service. And, almost 9 out of every 10 employers say that apprenticeships deliver.
We find apprentices can be moulded to suit your working processes and are eager, adaptable and motivated to do a good job. They know that if they are successful within in your organisation a promising career could be ahead.
Our findings, by introduce an apprenticeship scheme, is that it saves our organisation money, and in a lot of cases is much more cost effective than hiring skilled people.
Another government survey states 92% of employers who employ apprentices, believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
A further positive for us, is our other team members contribute positively to training Maddie & Todd, as they can see the investment the organisation is making in skills, which in turn helps the organisation grow, creates further opportunities for all the team members and greatly increases employee retention.
There are many reasons for an organisation to introduce an apprenticeship scheme, and some more of these are listed here…
- In a recent government survey 76% of employers said apprentices helped them to improve productivity and to be more competitive.
- Training apprentices can be far more cost effective than hiring skilled people, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs.
- Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business needs.
- Apprenticeship qualifications are tailored to specific job roles so you know your apprentice is getting the right training.
- They can help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.
- Apprentices are eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the organisation that invest in them.
- Apprenticeships provide you with a supply of the right people with the skills & qualities your organisation needs over time.
- Helps you create a supply of skilled recruits to keep the organisation growing.
- Apprenticeship standards are more job related than any other type of learning.
- Statics prove that apprentices tend to stay and progress within the organisation.
- Teaching apprentices enable other team members to pass on their own knowledge & skills.
For most small & medium organisations, you only pay 10% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. The government will pay the rest (90%) up to the funding band maximum. And they’ll pay it directly to the training organisation. You could also be eligible for extra funding depending on both your and your apprentice’s circumstances.
If you do take on an apprentice, you are responsible for paying their wage and giving them their contract of employment. You must pay at least the minimum apprentice wage rate.
Apprentices must work towards an approved apprenticeship standard or framework. And their training must last at least 12 months. They must be employed in a real job that gives them the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to pass their assessment. And it goes without saying, apprentices are afforded the same conditions as other employees working in similar roles, such as paid holidays.
There are many training organisations who can help you find and train an apprentice. Although it’s important to do your research and choose one that has a good track record, and is able offer courses in the specific skills you are looking to fill.
For us, we choose to use North Lancs Training Group in Accrington. They are local to us and cover all the specific skills we need, which means we have a higher chance of getting the right candidate in the shortest possible time. Another bonus is that we have a great relationship with one of their training advisers (Anthony Rishton).