How Can Your Business Benefit From Hiring An Apprentice?

How Can Your Business Benefit From Hiring An Apprentice?

Learning About Apprenticeships: How Can Your Business Benefit From Hiring An Apprentice? 


In my last blog, we talked about how young people can benefit from an apprenticeship. This week we discuss how businesses can reap the rewards of taking on an apprentice. 


There are many misconceptions about hiring an apprentice. More trouble than it’s worth? Additional cost in training and hiring? It’s a complicated process? Easier to hire a graduate? 


The truth is, these are valid points and issues. Can the same be said when hiring anyone within a youth role? 


If you were hiring a graduate fresh out of university, wouldn’t you spend time looking through applications, interviewing applicants and researching those who have applied? 


Hiring someone will always be time consuming. So why not take the time to hire the best possible person for the role? That person could be an apprentice. 


Understanding the costs and the Levy is a good starting point. Luckily, I dealt with a lot of these questions in my first blog ‘How Much Does Hiring And Being An Apprentice Cost?’. 


Looking past The Levy, an apprentice can relieve some of pressure off you and your team when they start.


Hiring an apprentice to take care of non-critical tasks frees up time within your busy workplace. This allows senior people within the business to concentrate on more important matters without paying a high premium for the extra help. 


Apprentice vs Graduate 


University graduates have long been the tried and tested junior recruitment channel for employers. With the introduction of the Levy by the government though, companies are increasingly seeing apprenticeships as recruitment option worth exploring. 


When hiring an apprentice, employers have an opportunity to test not only their knowledge, but their soft skills as well.  


Think of an apprentice as a blank canvas that you as an employer can work with. The apprentice already has – or is learning – the skills they need to do the role, but in terms of a particular level or standard you expect of an employee, you’re able to set this yourself. 


It’s almost like a cost-effective trial period. You’re given the opportunity to test the skills of your apprentice, with a view to hiring if they perform well. 


Whilst an apprentice will most definitely have an interest in your industry, it is still fair to say they haven’t had the benefit of gaining some life skills. Essentially, a bit of growing up! 


University allows a bit more time for young people to develop social skills and mature over the course of their degree. For apprentices, their work with you is coincided with their studying. 


Employers become the equivalent of university for apprentices. The young person spends their university years at the employer and within the workplace with their team. 


It would be unfair to tarnish all apprentices with this statement as each person is different. But be aware that this is a difference you may notice when comparing your options. 


What about the skill set and training of an apprentice? 


Many employers are worried about the skill set and knowledge of an apprentice within the required role.  


It’s easy to forget that every good apprenticeship is accompanied by a structured programme of learning. This helps apprentices to get up to speed quickly as they learn and experience new things throughout their time in an apprenticeship. 


Here at The London Group, we provide on-the-job training for every one of our apprentices at least monthly, as well as delivering regular classroom sessions at our training centre. This enables us keep in regular contact with both you and the apprentice throughout their time working within your business. 


This way, we’re able to keep up to date with not only their progress in the class room, but also how they’re progressing in the workplace. 


With all of the positive changes to apprenticeships outlined above, it would be foolish to completely disregard them as a channel for your next round of entry level recruitment.  


If you’re looking to improve and grow your company, there’s an untapped pool of talent in apprentices. Now more than ever is the time for businesses to take advantage of ALL the talent available to them. 

Learning About Apprenticeships: How Much Does Hiring And Being An Apprentice Cost?

Learning About Apprenticeships: How Much Does Hiring And Being An Apprentice Cost?


Two weeks ago, it would have been fair to say I knew very little about apprenticeships.


I had just started my role as the digital marketing manager at the London Group and quickly realised what little knowledge I had when it came to everything apprentice.


One of my biggest misconceptions before I began was the cost of hiring an apprentice. Why would a business hire an apprentice and invest valuable time training one? Could they just spend the money on someone who already knows what they’re doing?


First of all, the cost of training an apprentice for many businesses is free. For the bigger companies, a large percentage of the training is paid for by the government.


Businesses that hire apprentices are funded in slightly different ways. They are split into two categories;


  • Levy payers (businesses with a payroll of MORE than £3m a year)
  • Non levy payers (businesses with a payroll of LESS than £3m a year).


Levy payers pay a tax on their payroll. This is stored in a digital account and ring fenced for spending on their apprenticeship scheme. If they don’t use the money within two years, they lose it and the expense is effectively written off as a tax.


The apprenticeship levy isn’t the easiest thing to understand, as I discovered, so to find out about the levy in more detail, check out the simple breakdown on the London Group website HERE.


Smaller companies (non-levy payers) are exempt from paying into the apprenticeship levy. For them the cost of training an apprentice is either heavily subsidised or completely free.


Such heavily subsidised training costs mean that in most cases the employer only really needs to consider the cost of the apprentice’s salary when they’re thinking about taking on a young person.


Because apprentices are working at the same time as getting a qualification, starting salaries are lower than you might expect. For example at the London Group, we recommend a starting salary of £200 per week for apprentices on our business programme, Future London.


But what about the cost of being an apprentice?


Gaining an apprenticeship is completely free for young people. Unlike a university course, there is no fee to pay for learning. They are paid to do their job at the same time as receiving training relevant to the role.


So, the deal for young people is that they receive nationally recognised training and at least a year of paid work. Doesn’t that seem a little too good to be true!?


It’s certainly not what I expected and it has completely opened my eyes to the way businesses hire apprentices and to how enthusiastic young people are about gaining the skills and getting the jobs they want in today’s economy.


There are a lot of things in this piece that you may already know. But for many, apprenticeships are uncommon knowledge.


The system benefits everyone and it’s now time to make sure everyone knows about it.




I’m new to apprenticeships and I’ll to be sharing a series of blogs as I learn all about them.

I’ll be breaking down ideas for businesses and young people alike who, like me, want to learn more about apprenticeships from the very beginning.

Now the money part is out of the way, how can young people leaving school benefit from an apprenticeship? Look out for my next blog where I’ll share my thoughts on this topic.