The five top reasons employers take on apprentices, and three concerns that almost stopped them
A growing number of organisations, big and small, are running apprenticeship programmes. We recently surveyed a number of organisations that train apprentices in partnership with Gloucestershire College to find out their top reasons for employing apprentices. Here’s what they had to say:
- Business is growing and there is a skills shortage at junior level
- Apprentices are easy to ‘mould’ to our company’s own way of thinking
- Apprentices inject a breath of fresh air into companies including new technologies
- As a company we want to support young people who have made the decision not to go to university
- We will be paying into the apprenticeship levy and want to make the best use of it.
However many organisations, whilst keen on the idea of employing apprentices, can be unsure whether it’s the right thing for them. We asked some of our existing employers about the concerns they had. Three main themes came up, which we address below:
Am I going to get value for money? (a particular concern for smaller businesses)
With the apprenticeship reforms coming this May, employers with a wage bill of less than £3 million will pay just 10% of the cost of an apprentice’s training, the government funds the rest. For businesses with less than 50 employees that recruit apprentices aged 16-18, this contribution is waivered and the training is free. In addition, there is money available to help support with the costs of an apprenticeship.
From 1 May 2017, any company that employs an apprentice aged 16-18 will receive a £1000 cash incentive and if you choose to work with Gloucestershire College, there are no recruitment fees involved. In addition, national statistics show that having an apprentice can actually boost productivity by £214 on average per week.
Will it be too time consuming? What support will apprentices need?
As with any employee, apprentices will need support to aid their learning and development. They will also need time away from their job to focus on their studies. However in many cases, this time can be used to add value to the business, for example they may work on a project that will help improve a process within the organisation.
At Gloucestershire College, every employer is allocated a dedicated training coordinator who will support them and their apprentice throughout the programme.
Will my apprentice jump ship once training has finished?
Statistics show that the retention rate of apprentices is often higher than other employees. Nationally, seven in ten apprentices stay with their employer having completed their apprenticeship. With GC trained apprentices this increases to more than 90%.
If you are thinking about employing an apprentice or you have existing members of staff who you would like to undertake an apprenticeship, our Business Hub team are here to support you. Contact them on 01452 563403 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: National statistics from the National Apprenticeship Service, 2017