Apprenticeships are becoming a popular solution for both employers and young people wanting to enter the workplace and avoid kick-starting their career with debt.
If approached correctly employing an apprentice can add great value to a business and although the initial time, effort and cost may put some employers off they can improve a company’s bottom line by increasing effectiveness and boosting productivity. It is also noted by the National Audit Office that every £1 spent on apprentices already pays back £18 to the economy.
As a national training provider Slic are regularly asked for tips and advice on how to maximise apprentices in the workforce. Here is a summary of the key themes to consider;
Select the right programme (Framework)
There are over 200 apprenticeship programmes which relate to over 1200 job roles. It is important that you define the apprentice’s job role and then match the role to the most appropriate framework. This will ensure that the learning is relevant and the delivery model meets your needs.
Appoint a mentor
Apprentices can add great value to your workforce but they need an environment to flourish and develop. Having someone in the workplace that can give them additional time and attention will really enable you to reap the rewards of having an apprentice. The best mentor could be a past apprentice!
Take a long term view
The bottom line impact of having an apprentice may be a medium to long term outcome and with that you need to have a longer term view. The most successful programmes are those that are ran continuously over several years and see teams of individuals progressing through a scheme. If apprentices are allowed and encouraged to continuously develop they will be running the organisation before long.
Look at funding opportunities
There are multiple additional funding opportunities out there; many are aimed at encouraging employers to take on apprentices and can result in cash incentives!
Select the right training provider
I would suggest that this is the most important step (and not just for the obvious reasons). The right training provider will guide you through all of the above steps and ensure that your employee is on the right programme, has the appropriate support, is part of a long term development plan and that you maximise all the funding opportunities out there.