Tom Cox is a Digital Marketing Executive for the Babington Group – a UK training, apprenticeship, and traineeship provider. Babington offer a range of apprenticeships in a number of sectors including accounting, warehousing, social media, and many more.
With the government committed to a further three million apprenticeship starts by 2020, it’s clear that apprentices will play an important role in bolstering the British workforce. The Apprenticeship Levy comes into place in April next year, meaning many companies are looking to brush up their apprenticeship knowledge before taking them on.
As novices to the sector they are about to enter, apprentices can be a refreshing addition to your workforce, who are willing to prove themselves and strengthen their career prospects. 89% of employers reported that apprentices helped their business improve the quality of their good or service, and these could be down to qualities such as these:
A hunger to impress
One of the most impressive aspects of an apprentice is their enthusiasm to work hard and impress the company that takes them on. Other businesses tend to agree, as 90% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing, with 71% staying with the same employer.
Remember, apprentices aren’t just working to collect a cheque at the end of the month – the reason they signed up to an apprenticeship is to learn new skills, become an important member of a team, and begin to shape their career – meaning they’ll put 110% effort in to learning every detail of the job. Those who have ‘been there, done that’ may feel less inclined to put the effort in.
A new perspective
What apprentices lack in experience, they will make up for with fresh ideas. If, for example, you work in digital marketing, you’ll be working on the same website every day. That means that sometimes you’ll become blind to features that are perhaps not so user friendly.
With little to no industry experience to bias their way of thinking, apprentices can give you valuable fresh eyes, and if they’re feeling confident, a few new ideas. This spirit can also translate through the rest of your workforce, as 92% of employers who hire apprentices believe that they contribute to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
As a growing business, it’s important to welcome these new ideas and perspectives that will enable you to embrace the future.
A natural understanding of technology
Speaking of embracing the future, apprentices these days have a natural aptitude for technology. Growing up around computers and social media from an early age, this generation adapt to new technology quickly, while more experienced heads may show more resistance.
In this fast-moving digital world, it’s essential for employers to increase the digital skills gap in their organisation to drive their business forward.
A ‘mouldable’ mind
Hiring an apprentice includes the added benefit that their skills will be tailored to your company as they train. They will come into the business and learn to work your way, instead of teaching a new recruit to unlearn old habits and adjust to your business.
With an apprentice, you can instil good habits and your own company ethos. It’s also reported that 59% of employers said that it’s more cost effective to train apprentices than hire skilled staff, as their qualification costs will be completely government funded if they are under 19 years old.
You shouldn’t feel overloaded with training obligations, as an apprenticeship programme is designed to reduce the training your business needs to provide, and teach them key skills to bring them up to speed quickly.
With the dog-eat-dog job market, young people are looking to join companies who will invest in their development and give them valuable skills needed for the future. Employees that feel cared for are more likely to work harder, leading to a degree of loyalty to your business.
An apprenticeship is a huge benefit to the person you are looking to take on, as it gives an answer to the experience paradox – that you can’t get a job without experience, but you can’t get the experience without a job. You will be giving an apprentice an opportunity that they would not have had otherwise.
80% of companies who invest in apprentices have reported a significant increase in employee retention, and the chance to mould an employee straight from school could mean better retention figures and a big pay off in apprenticeship investment in the long run.