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Grab a cuppa, sit down and take 5!

How to Support Apprentices’ Mental Health in the Workplace

According to the Mental Health Foundation 74% of UK adults have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope over the past year. Here are 5 ways that you as an organisation can support your apprentices with their mental health in the workplace:

1. Be positive… about staff mental health.


Being a mindful employer is a way to let apprentices know that your organisation is positive about mental health. If potential and current apprentices can discuss wellbeing during their recruitment and induction, mental health concerns are more likely to become apparent. Having positive statements about accepting mental health on marketing materials can also be beneficial; potential apprentices will be able to see you are an employer who has a positive approach towards staff wellbeing.

2. Raise awareness…of resources available.


Support and resources need to be widely advertised and shared amongst employers, training providers and apprentices. Mental Health First Aid courses are now widely available for organisations and individuals, and websites such as Mental Health at Work include useful guidance. If staff are aware of the support options and how to access them, issues are more likely to be addressed before reaching crisis point. This information should be advertised as widely as possible throughout the business.

3. Offer flexibility…and be inclusive.


Employers should consider non-traditional recruitment approaches, for example, work trials rather than formal interviews as these may be less intimidating for someone experiencing mental health issues. Employers can also make reasonable adjustments to everyday working, such as offering flexible hours or shift patterns. Expect that your apprentices’ needs, and your business needs will continue to change. Inclusivity and flexibility are about proactive communication, which can help apprentices have a positive experience. Reiterate the business’s practices that support mental health.

4. Build a culture… of connection & communication.


Checking in with your apprentices on a regular basis is more critical than ever since the global Covid pandemic. With so many people working from home, it can be even harder to notice the signs that someone is struggling. Studies have suggested nearly 40% of employees said that no one at their company had asked them if they were doing OK — and those employees were 38% more likely than others to say that their mental health had declined since the pandemic. Why not set up weekly catch-up calls with your apprentices to check in and have a chat?

5. Take responsibility…


Apprenticeships can provide a valuable opportunity for young people to develop their skills and take the first steps in their career. Businesses should take a whole organisational approach to supporting all members of staff with their mental health. Here are some useful websites you and your apprentices can visit for free, confidential advice and support:

If your business is interested in understanding how apprenticeships can be used to recruit, upskill and retain employees in your company, we can help. The West of England Apprenticeship Service provides free, independent and impartial apprenticeship support to SMEs as part of the region's Workforce for the Future programme.  Find out more here

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