If you don’t currently use apprentices in your business, why is that? Sometimes people have a perception about what kind of work apprentices do, usually traditional manual trades, and therefore don’t even think of using them in their business. But in fact apprenticeship training is available for a huge range of different types of roles, professions and skills, so it might be something worth looking at.
Here are seven good reasons you should consider hiring an apprentice for your small business.
1. Recruit new talent
Many businesses struggle to find the talent they need, or struggle with a lack of fresh thinking and new ideas. Rather than recruiting elsewhere, why not bring in some apprentices at the bottom and train them up? Apprentices can bring a new viewpoint and ideas to your business, as well as be full of enthusiasm, willingness to learn and free of preconceptions and “we’ve always done it this way” attitudes.
2. Fill skills gaps
If your business has very specific skills gaps in certain areas of your work, an apprenticeship programme focusing on those particular skills can be a good solution to this. Develop the skills you need rather than recruiting for them.
3. Training tailored to the needs of your business
Because lots of apprenticeship training happens (or can happen) on the job, you can tailor it exactly to the needs of your own business. So it’s not just generic skills of whatever trade or profession the apprentice is learning, it’s also how exactly your business operates that particular trade, with training delivered in such a way as to provide maximum benefit to your business.
4. Retain and upskill existing staff
It’s not just new staff who could come to you as apprentices. Apprenticeships can also be used to develop staff you already have. Perhaps they would like to move roles but don’t have the skills to do so, or perhaps they are a valued member of staff you want to keep but might end up looking elsewhere for the opportunity to develop themselves if you can’t provide those opportunities.
5. Internal promotion benefits
If you have a good ‘grow your own’ culture in your business, where you bring people in as apprentices, develop them as you need them and continue to develop them once their apprenticeship has finished, it means you end up with home-grown employees who understand your business in those key positions.
6. Learning in the workplace
For apprentices, much of their training can be done ‘on the job’, which minimises the disruption of training, and maximises its impact. ‘On the job’ training can be immediately and directly implemented for improvements in the performance of the individual and the team.
In addition, providing on the job training for apprentices can be a great development opportunity for other staff, as well as prompting discussion and consideration about whether you are doing things in the best, most efficient way.
7. Funding often available
Obviously you need to pay the employment costs of your apprentice, but there can be funding available for some or even all of their training, depending on the nature of the apprenticeship. This can be an enormous benefit to small business, and a great way of your business benefiting from training at low cost.
If you’re wondering how apprentices could work in your business and want some advice, do get in touch.