Businesses face many difficult decisions throughout their lifetimes. From choosing the right investments to finding ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality, it’s no easy feat to set up on your own and make a success of your ventures. One of the key components to any form of business success is your staff and there is an increasing trend to recruit from vocational talent pools as opposed to choosing more traditionally academic candidates.
So, why should your business consider hiring an apprentice? And what do they offer your firm that university graduates may not?
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of apprentices is their enthusiasm for work. Unlike traditional job applicants, apprentices aren’t just working to earn money. They’re working to gain valuable knowledge and ultimately to achieve a vocational qualification in your field – something which can only be achieved through consistent hard work.
For a business, this means you get access to an eager and competent workforce who will strive to do their best at every opportunity. There is a lot at stake for apprentices and this means that they’ll be willing to put in more effort to secure a positive result.
For you, this means increased productivity and consistent high-quality work; both features which are central to the success and growth of a firm.
While it may seem logical to assume apprentices have less knowledge than those holding degrees or other academic qualifications, this is not necessarily the case. Apprentices are educated to a high level within a specific area or industry and this gives them great depth of knowledge on their specialism. For your business, this means gaining access to staff with industry-specific knowledge which has a practical function within you company.
While someone with a university degree may have proven themselves to be highly intelligent and the possessor of plenty of knowledge, their knowledge may not always be relevant to your business. This can put you at a disadvantage when hiring them.
Apprentices can bring new ideas and theoretical ideas they’ve learned into your workplace and test whether they work or not for themselves. This allows both the apprentice and your firm to grow. Apprenticeships can also command greater loyalty from your workforce and many firms find individuals they hire as an apprentice stay on after training to become permanent employees.
The benefits of hiring apprentices are not only the merits of their specialist knowledge and workplace enthusiasm but also the financial benefits of increased investment. The apprenticeship programme which runs in the UK offers financial incentives to businesses who get involved.
By hiring an apprentice, you can have the cost of training and paying them subsidised by the government through cash grants. Depending on your eligibility, as much as £1,500 can be offered in grants and you may even be able to get the government to cover 100% of the training costs incurred with an apprenticeship.
These are paid direct to the apprenticeship provider – a reputable organisation such as City & Guilds – and mean that you are not left out of pocket.