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.