Sep 2016 / Company

It’s not just traditional industries or large organisations that are choosing the apprenticeship route nowadays. Small businesses also find it a useful way to recruit and train staff. Apprenticeships now cover more than 170 industries and 1,500 job roles from entry to degree level – so if you’ve been toying with the idea of taking on an apprentice, here’s a rundown of the business benefits for companies just like yours.

1. A breath of fresh air

Injecting some youthful 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.

2. Increased productivity

Employing an apprentice is a highly cost effective way to increase your workforce. Studies have shown that over 80% of businesses that employed apprentices found their productivity had increased as a result. The average apprentice increases productivity by £214 a week, while the minimum wage is just £2.68 an hour for 16 to 18-year-olds.

3. Positive long-term development

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. 

4. Aid staff retention

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 skills staff for the future. In a recent survey, 74% of companies surveyed said that apprentices tended to be more loyal, than non-apprentices.

5. No added cost to you

Wales is moving towards an all-age Apprenticeship programme. As of 1st August 2016, Level 4 and 5 Higher Apprenticeships are fully-funded in Wales, alongside Level 2 and 3 Apprenticeship programmes which are fully-funded to 16-19 year olds and for those over 20 years old who have been in their role for less than a year.

6. Minimal downtime

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.

7. 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 haven’t already picked up any bad practice from elsewhere.

8. Tackle a skill shortage

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.

9. No more NI to pay

From April 2016, if you employ an apprentice below the age of 25, you will no longer be required to pay employer National Insurance contributions for them.

10 Future-proof your business

Keeping with technological advances can be tough for any organization. Apprenticeships provide you with the skilled workers you need for the future.

Whatever sector you are in, there are so many benefits that employing an apprentice can bring your business.

Is it time to get your vacancy exposed? If you decide to employ an apprentice, your job vacancy will be advertised on the brand new ACT training website ‘Vacancies’ page. 

Discover how apprentices can transform your business – call us on 02920 464727 to discuss your requirements with a member of the ACT Business Development Team.