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Considering taking on an apprentice?

Here are five reasons why it could be the right decision for your business

A fast track to qualification and employment, apprenticeships have become a much sought-after route into work amongst younger people. With the ability to gain hands-on experience on the job, apprenticeships are a great way for someone to gain vital skills to kick-start their career while earning a decent income at the same time.

According to government data, the number of active apprenticeships taken by those aged 19 and above in 2021/2022 was 613,900 – this is equivalent to almost a third of adults in further education at the time. This data shows there’s clearly a strong demand for apprenticeships, both from individuals and employers.

But what’s the real benefit of taking on an apprentice? Is it worth your time, and what could your business expect to gain as a result?

1.    A fresh perspective
Apprenticeships are available for 16+ year olds, and younger workers are great at picking up new skills and learning. As someone coming in from the outside, they are well placed to bring fresh ideas to the business and having grown up with technology, many young people are digital natives and are clued up when it comes to tech. In fact, 74% of employers have said apprentices helped them improve the quality of their service and products (1)

2.    Easing workloads and diversifying employee skillsets
The economy has put increased pressures on businesses of all sizes, resulting in employee workloads becoming increasingly stretched and project timeframes tightened. When taking on an apprentice, its crucial to think of them as a resource that your business can invest in and receive valuable time-saving returns from in the long-run. Businesses should use this as an opportunity to identify where their business needs are and think about where training an apprentice could be valuable to help their growth.

3.    Creating a talent pipeline within the business
Apprenticeships are an excellent way to future-proof your business in the long term, while filling skill shortages in the immediate term. Not only are apprentices 85% more likely to stay in employment once completing their qualification, 64% stay with their current employer following the completion of their apprenticeship, according to Deloitte (2)  – suggesting apprenticeships are a worthwhile time investment for your firm that can help future-proof your talent pool.

4.    Eliminate recruitment fees and add value to your business
Hiring fees are some of the most significant costs a business can incur - this is before even considering advertising costs, recruitment agency fees, and the cost of hiring the wrong person for the role. While it can be hard to quantify the value of an apprentice, St Martin’s Group (3)  has estimated that the typical productive contribution of an apprentice is between £33,759 and £49,500 per year. Furthermore, the cost of taking on an apprentice can be subsidised, with the Government offering a one-off grant payment of up to £1,000 per candidate depending on the type of apprentice hired.

5.    Build a more diverse team
Ensuring equal access to work is an ongoing challenge within business as a whole, so what better way to support diversity and inclusion than by giving individuals from all walks of life better employment opportunities. St Martin’s Group found that a third of employers said that apprentices helped to increase diversity within their business (4) , so it can be a vital tool to bring in new talent, while improving representation across the board.

If you’d like to learn more about taking on an apprentice, read our tips article here.