A lot of the time, apprentices are fresh out of school with little to no knowledge of the working world. A lack of experience is often a reason why employers are put off taking an apprentice on board. But according to a government survey, 89% of employers reported that apprenticeships helped their business improve the quality of their product or service.
Here are a few reasons why someone with less experience can benefit your business:
Some companies can be accused of running with blinkers on, devoid of new ideas and approaches. As apprentices have little to no industry experience to bias their way of thinking, they can provide an outsider perspective, identifying creative opportunities that more experienced employees wouldn’t think of.
Apprentices will usually be working with less responsibility on their shoulders, such as providing for a family or paying off a mortgage. This is likely to mean that they’ll be more open to taking calculated risks, rather than operating under the kind of restrictive vigilance of more experienced professionals. As this is their first opportunity, apprentices are usually looking to impress, offering up innovative ideas to help them stand out.
The younger generation also have a natural understanding of technology, while older, more experienced heads may show more resistance to new approaches. In a quickly evolving technological world, these skills can be essential in driving your business forward.
Clever companies will be aware that today’s learners are tomorrow’s leaders. By taking on someone with a high ceiling for growth, you will be engaging them with your company as they progress through their qualifications and in their careers.
Instead of putting an experienced recruit through the adjustment period of unlearning old habits and learning your ones, taking on an apprentice will allow you to mould a professional in your image by teaching them good habits.
How will the Apprenticeship Levy work?
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‘Hire for attitude, train for skills’ is important to keep in mind here. If you’re hiring someone who’s been there and done that, you may be missing out on someone who is more willing to learn every detail of the job, especially as they have a qualification to achieve too.
Someone with little or no experience is likely to be grateful that you took a risk on them, even with their weaker credentials. That respect, coupled with the fact that they will likely have learned so much with the company, may cause them to stay on longer.
Government statistics show that after finishing, 90% of apprentices stay in employment, with 71% staying on with the same employer. These are encouraging numbers that demonstrate apprentices’ hunger to impress and adapt to their new role.
Companies often worry about the financial risk of hiring an apprentice with no experience. But according to research published in June 2015, apprenticeships at Level 2 and Level 3 deliver £26 and £28 of economic benefits respectively for each pound of government investment.
If you’re a small business with under 50 employees, you’re also entitled to funding of £1500 to cover the costs of wages for up to five apprentices at any one time. If the apprentice is aged 16-18, full government funding will also be provided for all of their course costs, right up to the higher diploma level.
Taking on an apprentice is an extremely cost effective way to bring highly motivated, innovative members of staff into the organisation.