Apprenticeships are an exciting option for both apprentice and employer. You can employ apprentices at different levels, from school leavers and university graduates, to people who want to further their careers or change career direction completely. You can hire someone new or upskill an existing employee. As an employer, you can get funding from the government to help pay for apprenticeship training. There are also government incentives of up to £4,000 for each apprentice hired.
Did you know?
86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation
78% of employers reported an improvement in productivity because of apprenticeship
Over 600 apprenticeship standards now exist across different sectors and at different levels
1. Cost Effective: government funding and incentives for SMEs
If your apprentice is aged between 16-18 years old or 19-24 with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) the Government will cover the full cost of the apprenticeship. If you are an SME and your apprentice is over 18, you will need to pay 5% of the cost of the apprentice's training, with the Government contributing the other 95%.
The Government is offering all businesses who take on a new recruit as an apprentice (regardless of age) a £3,000 incentive. There is an additional £1000 incentive if you take on an apprentice aged 16-18 or 19-24 with an EHCP plan, or a care leaver.
In their first year, the minimum an apprentice must be paid is £4.30 per hour. This will then increase to national minimum wage for their age bracket.
2. Tackle a skills shortage & positive long-term development
Apprenticeship schemes help employers ensure that they get exactly the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need while growing a talented and engaged workforce. Employers running apprenticeship schemes value their apprentices because they help them fill the skills gap. It also allows employers to shape their apprentices with the ethos of their business.
Taking on apprentices can help you improve the range of skills you have within your organisation. It also encourages you to look at the way you do things because you are passing on your knowledge and expertise to people keen to learn the trade or business, enhancing your own skill development. Simply taking a closer look at what you do and why can lead to you making improvements and becoming more efficient.
3. Tailored to your business
Apprenticeships can be tailored to specific job roles, making them flexible to the needs of your business. The added advantage is that you will effectively train a new employee to think and act in the interests of your business from day one, knowing that they have not already picked up any bad practice from elsewhere. As Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, the training is ‘on the job’ – at the employers' premises. This is arranged at times to suit the employer and the apprentice and is geared that way in order to minimise disruption and maximize business impact.
4. A breath of fresh air
Injecting some new talent can add a whole new dimension to your workplace, bringing with it a fresh perspective and new ideas. This in turn can excite existing employees and spark a boost in overall business productivity.
5. Increase productivity & aid staff retention
Employing an apprentice is a highly cost effective way to grow and diversify your workforce. Studies have shown that over 80% of businesses that employed apprentices found their productivity had increased as a result.
As well as helping you to gain the right kind of skills you need for your business, employing an apprentice can also aid staff retention, providing you with skilled staff for the future. In a recent survey, 74% of companies surveyed said that apprentices tended to be more loyal, than non-apprentices.