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10 reasons why you should run apprenticeships in your organisation

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10 Reasons to Run Apprenticeships in Your Organisation

Earlier this year, was delighted to attend an interactive discussion, facilitated by former CEO of the National Apprenticeship Service David Way.

The roundtable event brought together major employers in a discussion on how apprenticeships can be considered an essential element of talent development. In addition to Corporate Social Responsibility motivations, you may be surprised to learn that there are several other tangible business benefits that apprenticeship programmes can bring to your organisation. Based on what we learned from companies currently running apprenticeships, here are 10 reasons why your organisation should seriously consider running an apprenticeship programme sooner rather than later.

Recruitment solution: attract enthusiastic, talented and hardworking staff

Many more young people are choosing not to go to university now. This means that there's a pool of bright and talented young people looking for an alternative route into a career path. You can capitalise on this through an apprenticeship programme. By hiring apprentices, you can move away from traditional recruitment practices, and assess candidates based on motivation rather than experience. Most apprentices are hungry to learn and keen to experience hard work in the workplace, in order to find their role in your business. The apprentices that successfully complete your apprenticeship programme will be excellent ambassadors for your organisation - and can help attract the future waves of talented people as well.

Allows you to 'home grow’ a stream of talented employees

Most companies recognise that a successful business is reliant on having the best employees, and apprenticeships are one of the most successful way to achieve this. Employing young apprentices through an apprenticeship scheme is a viable opportunity for you to 'home grow' a stream of talented employees that are not only proficient in the skillset that your company requires but that are also able to cope with the demands of a pressurised environment. In combination with career coaching, you can structure their learning opportunities to help you fulfil business objectives and help you gain niche transferable skills. Many companies report that Apprentices are instrumental in taking their business forward confidently and help to build a robust and long-lasting talent pipeline.

Reduces staff turnover and improves retention

Apprenticeships are proven to build long-lasting loyalty in apprentices and have wide reaching results across your organisation, helping to maintain high retentions levels by making staff want to stay in your company longer. Typically, most companies report that the apprentices that complete their programmes are very loyal to the company that gave them a chance and invested in them.

They want to stay in the company for the long run, grow, continue with training and give something back.

Helps balance ageing workplaces

Companies need innovation and fresh ideas generation in order to continue to be forward thinking and successful. There is a real need for people that have the insights into tomorrow's customer base, to help you develop the services and strategies required for the future. Most traditional workplaces are facing up to the reality that by 2020 one third of their workforce will belong in the ageing bracket. This will lead to great problems in the coming decade as there will be a scramble to attract talented candidates. Hiring apprentices will allow you to attract talented young people that will stick around when they finish their programme and help you take your company into the next decade. You can continue to develop these young people over time through the next levels in the higher apprenticeships programmes and ensure your workforce doesn't suffer from ageing issues.

Positive impact on youth unemployment

Giving people in the 16-24 age bracket a chance of employment via an apprenticeship changes their lives. Most of the young people that will come forward for an apprenticeship will never have a better opportunity for growth, which is why they tend to develop such loyalty towards the company that make this possible. Many participants will be from 3rd generation of unemployed families, where prospects are generally low for any sort of change. Apprenticeships are a chance for individuals to break this cycle and start their working lives, while giving companies the opportunity to prove their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles that work in the interest of a social good beyond their own business interests.

Increases your customer base

Many businesses that run apprenticeships have noticed that their customer base increases after they start running programmes. The truth is that your company's reputation will affect how your current and potential customers feel towards you, and customers like companies that hire apprentices. It shows you are a company that cares about talent development, helping young people get into the workplace as well as investing in your staff.

Puts your company in the spotlight

Whether you need to change the image of your business, or gain some well needed publicity to attract new clients, any apprenticeship programmes you run will be noticed. The wide reaching effects that apprenticeships have, both internatlly and externally, will strengthen your reputation as an employer and a company to do business with.

Improves productivity while reducing costs

We've already mentioned the hard working, highly motivated nature of apprentices, which allow businesses to grow their skills base and boost productivity. It is primarily for this reason that the government believes in apprenticeships and is dedicated to providing generous funding opportunities. The average apprenticeship increases business productivity by £214 per week, with these gains including increased profits, lower costs and better products. Apprentices are paid at least the relevant minimum wage and training costs are government funded for many apprentices. Businesses that employ up to 1,000 employees may even get a £1,500 grant to help cover the cost of starting a new apprentice aged 16 to 24 years old.

From 2017 the government will put £2 in for every £1 a company spends on their apprenticeships. If you're a SME with less than 50 employees there's even better news: the government will fully find your apprenticeship programme.

You are not in it alone, you will have a training partner

It's important to remember that running an apprenticeship programme is not solely your responsibility. You will have a training partner that could be a local college or a private training provider. Many training providers have historically done the recruitment part and can also deliver the programme in line with industry needs, as well as your specific business goals. They will support you in developing the programme and nurturing the apprentices and will continue to develop apprentices' skills to help mould them into successful young people for their futures.

Opens up new opportunities for your organisation

Your whole organisation can benefit from apprenticeships as many of your existing employees can act as mentors to the apprentices and learn from the new perspectives they bring to the business. Apprenticeships will help you foster a culture where colleagues, at all levels, have the support and opportunity to develop the skills and confidence they need to progress in their careers.

Last updated: 09 Jul 2019

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