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Apprenticeships – Are they for me? – Guest blog by Judith Moule, Director & Apprenticeship Ambassador AAN at ETA Consultancy Services LLP

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As someone who has employed and trained hundreds of apprentices and supported many more into apprenticeship roles I am totally biased and a complete believer in how powerful they can be for a business, to me it is a business no brainer!

When deciding whether apprenticeships will work for your business it is critically important to look at several factors:

  • Can the business afford and sustain another head count, are you ready to invest in your company’s future?
  • Who has the expertise within your business to be mentoring, training and supporting your new apprentice?
  • What does their progression route look like, from years 1 – 5 and beyond?
  • Is every staff member in your business prepared to help, train and support your apprentice, getting the whole company on board is vital to a successful apprenticeship programme?

If you prepare your foundations well for an apprenticeship you will prepare for success.

Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Another benefit of working with apprentices is that it enables you to adapt and bespoke their training according to the needs of your business. Apprentices are motivated to learn new skills and develop.

Your apprentice will be as amazing as you make them, they learn and develop from what they, see, hear and do in your business.

Why should employers hire apprentices?

Apprentices tend to be more loyal and stay at their host workplaces for longer. By training an apprentice in your business they gain a greater understanding of the company’s long-term goals and all the intricate and unique parts that make your business work. If you have trained your apprentice well, invested in their future and you are a great company to work for, why would they to leave?

Is it worth getting an apprentice?

Employers these days see an apprenticeship as a valuable way into a skilled job, just like a degree. Both apprenticeships and degrees show you are willing to learn and work hard. Both result in the same qualification. Apprenticeships are full on, with a mix of academia and practical application learning. Not only do your apprentices have the underpinning knowledge, skills and behaviours for their job, they can and are doing it!

Make the most of the government funding and incentives to support your business, using apprenticeship funding and training is a no brainer especially if you are upskilling your existing staff.

Finding the best provider

Finding the best provider for your apprenticeship and company is absolutely critical and always overlooked. It is essential to procure a great provider (ask for help) that understands your business needs and can adapt their delivery to suit your requirements. You the employer are in the driving seat!

Apprenticeship recruitment is also a key and critical part of the process. You are developing and adding to your “dream team” poor recruitment in any shape or form can severely damage your business and cause you to lose great staff.

Make the most of your social media and networks to advertise for your apprentice, incentivise your staff to help you find an apprentice, there is no higher compliment from a member of staff to recommend a friend to join your company.

Link with your local schools. Colleges and universities to advertise your apprenticeships, go into and present to potential candidates, tell them all about your company and the opportunities you have, it is all free.

Selecting the right candidate

Do not just take any person offered to you, go through a thorough interview process, they are going to be your apprentices and your member of staff. I always recommend a trial day after my initial interview, this enables the person to see what your company is all about, what are the people like, is it what they thought it might be, they are interviewing you too, is it everything you have promised? Set up tasks to test any skills they have identified they have, ask your team to work with them, what do they think?

Selecting the right candidate can become very clear at the end of their trial days, they almost select themselves.

Do not feel tempted to take any apprentice, always take the right apprentice for your business, poor recruitment in any area can cause irreparable company damage.

I cannot tell you how much joy and pride I have experienced in recruiting, employing and training apprentices. My greatest achievements have come from seeing a person start with little or no skills, they start with a great attitude, a positive aptitude and their enthusiasm, and slowly and steadily emerge as a skilled profession and confident, valuable member of staff, it amazes me every time.

If you do nothing else in 2021 employ an apprentice, your business will never regret it

 

Contact Judith Moule – ETA Consultancy Services LLP 

Call: +44 07814 631 143

Email: judith@etacs.co.uk

Visit: www.etacs.co.uk

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