Is an apprenticeship programme right for my business?

April 25, 2017 3:42 pm

If you’re not typically a company that employs apprentices and you don’t have an apprenticeship programme in place, it may be difficult to understand the reasons why other companies around you are doing so. After all, you may think that an apprenticeship programme is a lot of work to set up and means that you could end up adding groups of unqualified youths to your workforce that will add little value to your business for years to come.

But that’s not the case. Many of the world’s leading companies already have apprenticeship programmes in place and for good reason. Having an apprenticeship programme puts you at a distinct strategic advantage when compared to your competition.

Here’s why:

1). An apprenticeship programme can boost staff morale and improve the working culture of your organisation. A little-known fact about apprentices is that they don’t have to be new starters in your organisation, nor do they have to be at the very beginning of their career. Your existing employees can take an apprenticeship to upskill for their current role, or prepare for a new role within your company. Giving your existing employees an opportunity to gain additional training and qualifications is hugely empowering. It helps to motivate employees and create a better working culture, which in turn makes people more productive and your company more profitable.

2). Apprentices have a lower attrition rate than traditional employees. That’s partly down to your apprentice committing to a long-term work and training programme with your organisation, but partly because they feel more fulfilled and feel comfortable enough to put the skills they’ve learnt into practice in the environment they’re familiar with. Lower attrition rates mean less spend allocated to recruitment throughout the year and that’s good for the bottom line.

3). Running an Apprenticeship programme is a cost-effective way to boost your business. With the new Apprenticeship Levy now in place, if you’re a company which employs more than around 120 employees, you’ll now be paying a compulsory tax equivalent in value to 0.5% of the total wage bill for your organisation. This ‘tax’ sits in a digital account and the Government add an additional £1 for every £10 you pay in. You can recover this money, including the additional amount added by the government, but only if you spend it on apprenticeship training. If you don’t use it for apprenticeship training, that money is lost for good.

4). Employing apprenticeships can make your organisation run like clockwork. One of the great things about bringing new, junior apprentices on board is that they can take on many of the simpler, often more time-consuming tasks within your business as part of their learning journey. That frees up your more senior employees, allowing them to focus their time on the bigger challenges which will help to push your company forward.

5). Apprenticeships provide your existing employees with an opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to be a manager. There’s often no-one more qualified to teach an apprentice how to do a role than someone who is already doing it. But the person who is already doing it may not be a manager or have management experience. Pairing your apprentice with someone that is already doing the role gives this person a chance to understand and develop the skills needed to coach, mentor and manage someone. In doing so, you’re building the blocks for a layer of employees within your organisation to take on management roles in the future.

Of course, there are many more reasons why running an apprenticeship programme will put your company at a strategic advantage to the competition.

If you would like to learn more about how to set one up in your company, or would like someone to manage the entire implementation for you, we can help. See our apprenticeship services and contact the Apprenticeship College today on 020 3651 4545 or fill in  and we’ll be in touch shortly.