Teaching, training, developing and mentoring people on the job, providing them with valuable skills and watching them grow in their chosen career path.
These activities have been a passion of mine in every job I have ever had. It has given me job satisfaction throughout my career.
So, when I was given the opportunity to work for an apprenticeship provider as a Business Development Executive, I thought all my Christmases had come at once!
When I accepted the offer, I thought to myself: “this should not be difficult. Surely all businesses – small, medium or large would be on my wavelength and understand how taking on apprentices helps businesses to grow.”
However, since starting I’ve learned that it’s not quite so simple.
The most common objection I’m encountering which is stopping potential clients from taking on an apprentice is a lack of capacity.
That’s a broad word. What is meant by not having the capacity? Is it desk space? Your organisation structure? Time?
Second on the list of objections is the extra time clients will need to spend training and coaching the apprentice. Of course we’re all busy – time is money, after all – but when was the last time you took on a new hire who didn’t need loads of training and support up front?
So What Are The Objections?
First, let’s think about the issue of a lack of capacity. Yes, employing an apprentice means commitment. Initially, an apprentice will need guidance and support, just like any first recruit you hire. They will also need to spend some time working towards their qualifications and attending workshops.
On average, three months into an apprenticeship, our apprentices can effectively execute the majority of the duties in their role with minimal supervision.
This means within a short period of time, apprentices are effectively taking on non-critical tasks which free up more senior people in the organisation. Et voila (yes, I’m French) – capacity becomes less of an issue.
As an objection, capacity is therefore somewhat counterintuitive. Taking on an apprentice might seem like a lot of work at first. But we know that the vast majority of our clients see a marked increase in the productivity of their teams as a result of hiring an apprentice.
What Are You Waiting For?
Next, let’s have a think about objections around training up an apprentice. Of course, training takes careful planning and time to execute as well. As a result it’s costly.
However, training up new employees is a fundamental part of the on-boarding process for any growing business. The importance of ongoing on-the-job training and CPD is an undisputed must-have for firms like yours.
If on-boarding training is a given, what about on the job training? It doesn’t need to be as complicated or structured as you might think.
Imagine a master bricklayer of yesteryear and her apprentice. The master bricklayer would have taught her apprentice every trick, tool and skill of the trade during the course of the apprenticeship. In the same way, your apprentice will want to soak up all of the experience and knowledge in your organisation.
And fortunately, it’s not yesteryear anymore. Modern apprenticeships are supported by highly experienced, high quality providers who are there to support you and your apprentice. So, alongside your in-house training, your apprentice will get loads of incredible training from their apprenticeship training provider.
Good providers will ensure that the apprenticeship training is closely aligned to your business objectives and they’ll teach marketable skills which make apprentices more productive.
Overall, apprentices bring a new energy, perspective and dynamic to the workplace. Investing in young people today and understanding that these young people are the workforce of the future will protect your business from skills shortages, develop your organisational culture and bring diversity to your team.
Don’t object – get involved!