This is a crucial step to aid employers with quality development programmes that reduce the skills gap within the workplace and prepare employees for the future of work. The Government have just engaged the globally renowned advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi to create a slick and engaging advertising campaign to encourage school leavers to consider apprenticeships, but many employers still do not fully understand the apprenticeship opportunity and how it can work for them. 83% of employers who employ apprentices rely on their apprenticeship programme to provide the skilled workers they need for the future (stats from gov.uk). An apprenticeship allows an individual to study for a qualification that can significantly improve their future earning power and career enjoyment. But apprenticeships also provide many benefits for the employer:
1. Apprenticeships provide skilled workers for the future
Apprenticeship training helps employees to improve their job related skills, which will benefit the company in the long term. An apprenticeship will also ensure that the skills developed are matched to the company’s future needs. This will help fill any foreseeable skills gaps, particularly in digital areas and allow businesses to grow their future managers and leaders from within.
2. Apprenticeships increase staff loyalty and retention
Employees who have been trained in-house tend to be highly motivated, committed to the company and supportive of its business objectives.
An apprenticeship encourages employees to think of their job as a career and to stay with the company for longer, which reduces recruitment costs for the employer. Offering an apprenticeship to an existing member of staff shows that you see them as an integral part of the workforce and are happy to invest in their future. According to data from the National Apprenticeship Service, 92% of companies that have taken on apprentices believe this leads to a more motivated and satisfied workforce and 80% have seen a significant increase in employee retention.
3. Apprenticeships can benefit a company’s bottom line
Investing in staff trained through apprenticeships has a positive effect on a company’s finances, making it more competitive. Improving processes and efficiency as well as training better managers who understand how to get the best from their teams both have considerable financial benefits for organisations who utilise the apprenticeship levy. Over 100,000 organisations use apprenticeships to upskill existing staff, and if they are under 25 years old, organisations don’t need to pay National Insurance, a saving of 13% of their salary costs.
4. Apprentices increase productivity
Employees who have been supported with development and understand all aspects of their role and where they fit in with the broader business strategy. Strategic use of apprenticeships in subjects such as business improvement and relationship management enable your staff to work more productively. Embedding the apprenticeship programmes into the business strategic goals allows employees to work together towards the broader organisational
goals and understand why it is important to the business and the role they play towards that success. Delegating more simple tasks to an apprentice allows them to learn and take responsibility, while freeing up the time of your more experienced staff. Better allocation of work should make your business more productive.
5. Apprentices can revitalise a company
Some of our clients use the knowledge that they have rigorous and relevant apprenticeship pathways in place to enable them to hire new employees from a wider talent pool that they historically would have done. Using apprenticeship programmes can be part of a strategy to hire and develop career switchers or more diverse populations as the company can hire on their behaviours and business culture knowing that their technical skills will be developed throughout their apprenticeship. Apprentices can come from a range of different backgrounds, those who either don’t want the cost of going back to university or are looking to change their career path, or those who are just simply looking for a new opportunity. These people, who can bring transferrable skills, can also bring a fresh insight into your business activities. A company that is willing to invest in people by supporting apprenticeships is showing a positive approach to corporate social responsibility, which is good for attracting both customers and future high-quality staff. So if organisations takes the time to understand the apprenticeship opportunity and embed it into their business strategy there really are many benefits to the business, culturally and economically