Taking on an apprentice can be a valuable investment in the future of your business. Research suggests that, on average, each person will bring in over £15,000 more than they cost over the lifetime of their qualification.
This month’s National Apprenticeship Week, taking place from February 8th to February 14th, aims to celebrate this. It will praise employers who have committed to training for apprentices throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as students who have become a real asset to their workplace and their colleagues.
An opportunity to ‘shape’ employees
Finding a person willing to commit to workplace values is a key step in your recruitment. Whether you’re hiring someone new or upskilling an existing employee, an apprenticeship gives you the chance to train people, to develop the abilities and attributes that are especially important to you. Apprentices taking on their first professional role are eager to learn and adaptable. With the right support, they will pick up the best ways of working from you and your team.
Filling recruitment gaps
The Open University’s Business Barometer 2020 paints an interesting picture regarding the current job market. While redundancies during Covid-19 mean that more people are looking for work, senior leaders continue to spend £1.2 billion on temporary staff to fill skills gaps within their organisations. Creating an apprenticeship programme, which allows you to train for the positions you’ll need in the future, can offer a solution to this. It has the potential to prevent recruitment delays, which can prove costly to business performance.
Improving employee longevity
Feedback from employers suggests that apprentices tend to stay with the company they’ve trained with after completing their qualification. In fact, 92 per cent of organisations investing in apprenticeship programmes say that it leads to a ‘more motivated and satisfied workforce’. With the chance to progress further internally, these employees will demonstrate their loyalty for years to come. They may even go on to train an apprentice of their own.
Available at all skill levels
It is a common misconception that apprenticeships are solely for school leavers. In fact, these qualifications, which offer trainees the opportunity to learn on the job, are available at multiple levels – also benefitting people looking to upskill or change career. Some degree level apprenticeships allow students to gain full bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree. For employers, this means that there is the flexibility to train people for all areas of your business, attracting talented, high-calibre candidates.
Benefitting from government incentives
If you’re thinking of hiring an apprentice, it is worth exploring the financial incentives available to you. This will depend on the size of your business. The government’s apprenticeship levy applies to companies with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million and can be used to fund qualifications for all employees. If you don’t fall within this category, you can get help with the cost of training and assessing an apprentice. To give an example, employers with less than 50 members of staff can get training costs for students aged 16 to 18-years-old fully funded by the government.
To fully see the value of an apprenticeship, employers need to be forward-thinking. Some apprentices may lack work experience, but they are keen to learn and bring a fresh perspective – helping to grow businesses in new ways. Young people choosing this career path often gain a head start over peers who have opted for a traditional university degree. By the time they qualify, they will have a detailed knowledge of your organisation and a bright future ahead.