Apprenticeships are naturally a big part of people gaining new skills and the individual rewards of learning ‘on the job’ are easy to understand. But what are the top benefits of having apprentices in your business?
Sue Wainscot, HR director at Dine Contract Catering – included in The Sunday Telegraph’s Top Apprenticeship Careers List – shares her top five reasons for creating an apprenticeship scheme:
A well designed and supported apprenticeship programme is a clear and effective way to introduce and develop new talent into any business. Apprenticeships can put the employer in the driving seat when it comes to the quality and diversity of training that staff receive, resulting in qualifications that are genuinely as valuable to the employer as they are to the employee.
What’s more, companies should remember that apprenticeships aren’t just for new staff – they can be a fantastic means for enhancing the skills of the existing team.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, here are my top five reasons why apprentices are good for business:
- A tailored approach
As apprentices are given the chance to become fully immersed in a business, they will naturally become attuned to their company’s way of working and thinking from the outset. As the employer is responsible for the training delivery, they have the opportunity to ensure the apprentice is trained in the specific skills required by the employer.
- Stand out from the crowd
Today’s consumers want to buy from and work with companies that are doing their bit to support society as a whole, and that includes giving opportunities to young people. And it doesn’t have to stop with an apprenticeship scheme. For example, we have offered all Team Members under the age of 25 the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to gain life skills that can help them both in and out of work.
- Motivate your team
For an apprentice to succeed, they require the support of the company at all levels and the chance to mentor a developing Team Member can prove to be a real source of motivation for others.
From our own experience, we’ve found that colleagues across the company have jumped at the chance to share their knowledge and experience with our apprentices – especially those who have completed an apprenticeship themselves. They can be the best ambassadors for your apprenticeship programme and a strong source of support for those who follow in their footsteps.
- Cost effective training
Depending on eligibility, the Government can potentially cover the entire cost of training for an apprentice. This is an opportunity to develop the skills and talent of an individual who has the potential to become an important part of your team in a cost effective way.
- Investing in the future workforce
Last, but by no means least, committing to supporting young apprentices is an important part of strengthening the labour market as a whole. In fact, apprenticeships are expected to contribute a staggering £3.4 billion to the UK economy by 2022.
As a final note, remember that completing an apprenticeship shouldn’t be the end of the journey and opportunities to learn further should be embedded in company culture. After all, encouraging staff in their work, personal development and progression supports the individual as much as the business.