Sue Husband shares five compelling business reasons why there has never been a better time to take on an apprentice or trainee.
In 2015 businesses pledged 23,000 apprenticeships during National Apprenticeship Week (14th-18th March), an increase from 20,000 in the previous year. This year even more businesses will be encouraged to share their pledges for apprenticeships and traineeships using our online Pledge-o-meter.
Why businesses should hire apprentices:
- Deliver for employers large and small
Apprenticeships deliver for a whole range of industries, from advertising to administration and from environmental engineering to the legal sector. Almost nine out of ten apprentice employers tell us that apprenticeships deliver. Currently apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles in more than 170 industries.
There are now more than 75 higher and degree apprenticeships available, with more in development, including foundation degrees, HNDs and full honours degrees. Apprenticeships are the new work-based route into professions that have traditionally been the preserve of graduates.
- Increase productivity
As well as developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce, apprenticeships can also boost an organisation’s productivity by an average of £214 per week, making them very good for business. In addition, 89 per cent of employers report that apprenticeships have helped their business improve the quality of their product or service.
3. Grow your own talent
Apprenticeships offer employers a cost-effective way to grow their own talent, in line with their workforce needs. Seven in ten apprentices stay with the same employer after completing their training, with nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of apprentices promoted within just 12 months of finishing their apprenticeship.
With the introduction of higher apprenticeships, businesses can now train more of their employees in the high-level industry-specific skills that are critical for business growth. Employers recognise the commercial benefit of apprentices, telling us that qualified apprentices are 15 per cent more employable than those with other qualifications.
Employers can also offer traineeships —94 per cent consider traineeships an effective way of helping young people become ‘work ready’, increasing their chances of finding paid jobs and apprenticeships. Funded by the government, traineeships are providing the work preparation, work experience and training, maths and English skills a young person needs to get an apprenticeship or a job.
4. Fresh perspectives and digital skills
Apprentices bring creativity, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to any organisation. They come with energy and ideas, actively contributing to an organisation’s business development. Satisfaction levels are high — 89 per cent of apprentices cited satisfaction with their chosen apprenticeship.
And in this fast moving digital world, employers are finding that offering apprenticeships can fill a digital skills gap in their organisation, with digitally ‘savvy’ minds helping them stay on top of the digital trends that will benefit their business.
5. Leading the way in world class standards
Employer Trailblazers are leading the way in developing and implementing new world class standards for apprenticeships in the UK, in a wide variety of occupations from software design, to engineering, financial services and law.
Currently more than 1300 employers – from large corporations such as IBM, BAE, PWC, Sky and ITV to SMEs – are collaborating to make the new standards the quality benchmark for apprenticeships. During the 2015 National Apprenticeship Week 200 more businesses joined the Trailblazer programme. And we expect more to come on board in 2016.