This week marks the 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week, which places a spotlight on the importance of apprenticeships for employers and young people in the UK.
As an SME you benefit from a talent pool of young, enthusiastic individuals who can become loyal and valuable members of your team through personal and professional development.
If that doesn’t give you a reason to consider implementing an apprenticeship scheme to your workforce, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced last Summer a brand-new bonus scheme for employers to hire apprentices. From August to 31st March 2021, any firm that hires a new young apprentice aged 16 to 24 will receive £2,000, while those that hire new apprentices aged 25 and over will be paid £1,500.
Here are four reasons why your small business should recruit an apprentice:
Develop new skills
As a business owner you know what skills your team needs to support and grow your business. You may have spotted skill gaps or areas of potential improvement which could benefit from having an apprentice.
You could also learn new skills from the potential apprentice. As a Generation-Z they will naturally be more tech savvy and bring new skills to your company. They also come with energy and ideas as they burst with creativity and enthusiasm, actively contributing to the business’ development and progression of skills within the company.
Save on costs
With the chancellor’s investment to put employers in the driving seat when it comes to apprenticeship training, it allows SMEs up and down the country to tailor their training to exactly what they need, without the educational and financial pressures.
These days, there is a wide range of apprenticeship schemes which your business can take advantage of, from sales and finance to manufacturing and software engineering. Training someone up from the beginner means you’ll be able to shape them to fit your business.
According to Apprenticeships official government website, 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity. Young people are eager to learn due to the enthusiasm of their qualification, particularly when they are given responsibilities and there are amidst a successful business and their mentors.
Everybody starts from somewhere, and it’s important for those with less experience to get their foot in the door. Once you have committed your loyalty to your apprentice, it is more likely that they will be committed to doing the best job they can.
Supporting their development in turn could potentially assist them in becoming a fully-fledged team member. Additionally, 90% of apprentices stay at their company after completing their course with the added bonus of them already being familiar with your business, the team and your service.
It is important to acknowledge the current climate following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January 2021 confirming a new national lockdown whereby training providers, employers and EPAOs must ensure that training and assessment takes place remotely wherever possible. But we should highlight that hiring apprentices should not be ignored despite zero face-to-face training. There has been countless success stories as SMEs employ apprentices throughout the pandemic, allowing business’ to remain agile during uncertainty with the support of young people and their creative minds.
If implementing an apprenticeship scheme sounds like something you would be interested in, the government released a guide for throughout the pandemic. You can find this here.
If you want to find out more about hiring an apprentice, please click here.