By Fay Gibbin, Training Manager, Busy Bees Training
Today, completing an Apprenticeship is a perfectly acceptable route to a stimulating and rewarding career or embarking upon a degree course, yet it is often wrongly assumed that those forgoing the traditional route of academic learning to pursue vocational training lack the aspirations or academic ability to achieve.
Over 130,000 businesses across the UK offer Apprenticeship programmes because they recognise that they produce enthusiastic, dedicated individuals, who hold a company’s values and work ethic, and who have ‘hands-on’ experience of working within an industry.
Developing the right people
An Apprenticeship programme allows businesses to choose from a pool of candidates, all of whom are eager to expand their knowledge and develop an understating of a specific industry.
Investing time into an Apprenticeship training programme will allow businesses to define their values, philosophy and goals, and instil them into young apprentices. This in turn will create a vibrant and loyal workforce who operate to the outlined business objectives from the outset.
The enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit of a young apprentice can breathe new life into a business operation. With the correct guidance, their fresh ideas and outlook can present previously missed or unknown opportunities, and bring a revised energy to the team.
Mentors are responsible for nurturing this raw talent to deliver the best outcomes for the business, as well as the apprentice.
Meeting business needs
The strategy for a business’s Apprenticeship programme should be aligned with the projected growth and development of the company, with a vigorous effective recruitment and talent management process that will engage new recruits, encourage total staff commitment, and facilitate senior management buy in.
Apprenticeships can help tackle a shortage of skills in the company, and are a proven method of recruiting new staff, as well as upskilling existing staff members whose expertise need updating or refreshing.
Their flexible approach means training can be carried out at a time that suits the needs of the business, and the content can be tailored to specific roles.
Help with funding
Apprenticeships can be a cost effective way of recruiting and upskilling a workforce.
Businesses must pay apprentices at least the statutory minimum wage, however funding to help with the cost of training is available through the National Apprenticeship Service.
Businesses offering formal in-house training alongside employment may be entitled to an apprenticeship grant for up to five apprentices, and funding to cover the costs of an apprentice’s qualification.
A Look to the future
The days of stringently following the traditional path of GCSE’s, A-Levels and ultimately University are in decline as an array of post-16 career-focused qualifications that cater for varying academic abilities are being favoured by a growing number of students and industries alike.
Businesses need to be on board with this new development, and tap into the emerging talent of bright young individuals who are eager to begin their journey into long-term employment.