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What an apprentice can do for your business

Although the path of going to university is often the most prioritised for young people as they head towards higher education, it’s not the only – or the best – option for everyone. As the graduate job market becomes a more uncertain place, many are turning to apprenticeships as an alternative way to enter the world of work.

Apprenticeships combine both on-the-job training with classroom learning and development of skills needed to pursue a specific career, as well as giving you recognised qualifications at the end of it – and the most appealing part is that you can earn money whilst doing so. Earning while you learn is a much more viable option than university for many, and can help give a much more hands-on approach, which is extremely valuable.

There’s an assumption still prevalent that apprenticeships are for less academic, more practical subjects, but that just isn’t true. Working with apprentices can be beneficial for all kinds of people, and all kinds of businesses too. More and more employers are waking up to the advantages of hiring apprentices, and this is in part due to the apprenticeship levy introduced by the government this year.

The apprenticeship levy

You may remember the government promising 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020 – this is a great number to aim for, but the issue then arose of how this initiative will be funded.

To solve this problem, from April 2017 an apprenticeship levy was introduced in the UK, whereas the companies with wage bills of over £3 million a year now must pay a small percentage of that wage bill into an apprenticeship fund. Employers will then be able to use this fund, which the government will add an extra 10% on top of, to spend on training apprentices in their business.

Apprenticeships will be available to people of all ages, including those aged 16-18 (who these kinds of things have appealed to in the past), as well as even existing members of the workforce who wish to upskill via an apprenticeship.

So, it’s clear there’s going to be many more apprentices in the British workforce – but what benefits can they bring?

Clarity of career goals

One of the issues facing employers in the new young millennial workforce rising through the ranks is loyalty, and developing longevity in their relationships with employees. More and more people are experimenting with their career paths and hopping between jobs, and this can be costly to employers.

When someone completes an apprenticeship, they’re choosing to develop their skills in a very specific career path, showing clarity in the job they want and a commitment to that career too, meaning they become team members that employers can rely on.

Filling skills gaps

Apprenticeships are valuable to businesses because they are much more bespoke and tailored to a specific skillset than something like a university degree. Your apprentices are getting hands-on training as they learn in certain skills, using methods that you do and will finish their apprenticeship ready to slot into your business and start putting those skills to good use.

In a time where there is a chronic skills gap in the UK, in all kinds of industries, working with apprentices in this kind of focused way to train them exactly in the way you need (whilst also helping them get the qualifications they need) will go a long way to helping you plug that skills gap within your team.

Future proof your business

One of the biggest concerns for any company is ensuring the business is prepared for longevity, that they can maintain success in the years to come, that it is future-proofed; but this is often overlooked in favour of, understandably, dealing with problems of the present, rather than looking ahead.

Investing in apprentices in your business is a fantastic way to generate a lasting pipeline of talent, pass on valuable skills and knowledge through the team and ensure success in the long term.

 

To talk to us about maximising the apprenticeship levy and the benefits it can have for your business, get in touch today!

Download our free guide on how to maximise the apprenticeship levy in your business HERE

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