Boost your business with apprenticeships

Have you ever considered the benefits of employing your own apprentices?

More and more businesses are looking at how to run successful apprenticeship schemes because of the wide range of benefits, including creating a dedicated workforce as opposed to hiring one.

All sectors are suffering from significant skills gaps in their workforce, while the amount of talent available is low, resulting in high recruitment costs and salaries.

However, a very viable solution, which offers a medium-to-long return on the investment is running an apprenticeship scheme.

There has been a significant rise in the number of apprenticeships across the UK, aided by a concerted push by the UK government, which has set an ambitious target of three million places by 2020. While the current figure is short of that total, the number of apprenticeships available has doubled from 10 years ago.

The rise is apprenticeships over the past decade is not just in the traditional industries like construction and manufacturing, but in digital and technology industries as the UK strives to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Sectors like banking, law, event travel and tourism are all taking the plunge as they can see the long-term benefits.

The Centre for Economic and Business Research produced a comprehensive report for the Skills Funding Agency, outlining the key advantages to business and the wider economy. These are not just the direct economic advantages but also non-direct benefits.

These benefits include a higher quality workforce and increased flexibility to respond to changing business environments through the ability to fill skills gaps and develop specialist knowledge.

The report found:

“80% of companies who invest in apprentices report an increase in staff retention, while an impressive 92% of employers said that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce. Apprenticeships can improve a company’s reputation and increase consumer demand for the goods and services offered by the organisation – a clear economic benefit.

“Another survey of employers offering apprenticeships conducted on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, showed that three in five employers (60%) rated the Apprenticeship programme highly (with a score of 8-10 out of 10). A majority of businesses further identified that apprenticeships helped improve product or service quality, productivity, staff morale, and ability to attract and retain good staff.”

Other advantages include lower hiring costs, increased staff loyalty and an ability to develop the workforce of the future to meet the needs of the business.

For businesses that don’t have an apprenticeship scheme, then now is a good time to start as an increasing number of post 16-year-olds want to take the apprenticeship route, as they see it as an incredibly viable alternative to higher education.

Businesses will have to undergo a process to ensure that it meets the right educational and professional standards, but the hard work could be worth it in the long run.

Information on the requirements of launching an apprenticeship scheme can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education website.

If you want to know more about what future apprentices are looking for, which companies are rated the best in the UK and what you need to do to appeal to future apprentices then it also worth looking at

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