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Apprentices can be a huge benefit to any business – especially if you operate in an industry suffering a skills shortage. But if you’re not sure whether hiring an apprentice is right for you, here’s a quick look at the benefits they can bring to your business.

Futureproof your business  

Taking on an apprentice is a fantastic way to invest in the future of your business.  

Because you’re bringing them on board at the start of their career, apprentices don’t need to unlearn any habits they’ve picked up in previous roles.  

This means you can quickly train them in the skills your business needs from the get go, giving you access to the exact skill set you need to take your organisation forward.  

Boost productivity (without blowing the bank)  

The benefits of recruiting an apprentice aren’t just long-term. In fact, 86% of employers said apprentices developed skills relevant to their organisation and 78% reported improved productivity, according to statistics from the Government Apprenticeships scheme.  

An apprentice’s wage will depend on their age and the length of the programme they are enrolled on, but it is generally a cost-effective way of bringing an extra pair of hands to your business. And, if the apprentice is below the age of 25 you won’t need to pay any NI.  

So, don’t just see an apprentice as a long-term investment. They’ll also be a valuable member of the team from day one for a fraction of the price of a more senior hire. 

Protect yourself against a skills shortage  

Finding new staff with the skills you need, who don’t cost you the earth, can be an impossible task if you operate in an industry that’s suffering from a skills shortage. 

An apprentice scheme lets you take matters into your own hands instead of being at the mercy of the demands of your industry’s talent pool. 

While your apprentices won’t come into your business ready to start performing at the level you need straight away, they’ll quickly be able to take on the responsibilities you need taking care of within your business.  

While this will take time and a commitment to providing them with quality training, it’s often the only reliable way to get skilled workers during an industry-wide skills shortage.   

Bring fresh ideas into your business  

While apprentices lack experience, they do bring a fresh perspective to the table. Having a new pair of eyes on your internal processes and another voice in team meetings can help your company innovate and freshen things up.  

Boost your brand image  

Taking on an apprentice can be great for your brand image and really boots your company’s reputation, especially if you’re seen to be supporting youth employment in your local area.  

You’ll also get the opportunity to build relationships with schools, universities and colleges, which can lead to some valuable connections.  

Refine your processes  

Another benefit of bringing an apprentice on board is that it can facilitate growth. Often, going through the process of getting them up to speed in their role can reveal opportunities to refine your internal processes and communications. 

For example, if you realise you can’t properly explain how to perform a task or signpost them to essential information within your internal systems, that’s a prompt that this area needs to be streamlined. 

Motivate your workforce  

As well as the six aforementioned benefits apprentices can bring to your business, one you might not immediately think about, but can have a huge impact on your business, is the injection of motivation apprentices can bring, boosting morale throughout your workforce.  

Having a fresh enthusiastic team member who is eager to participate and learn can energise an entire team and give everyone a chance to showcase their roles.   

Apprentices aren’t right for every business – they take a bit of time to get up to speed and you need to dedicate some serious time and attention to making sure they have the support they need to thrive in their role.  

However, certain businesses will reap these seven benefits – and many more – when they bring an apprentice on board.  

Next steps:  

  • Think about your business, its current needs and its future need and consider whether an apprentice will benefit your business
  • Maybe you’re still unsure and need a little more information, if that’s the case, let’s talk. Our UMi advisers are here to speak with you, give us a call on 01917161000. 
Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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