The CEO’s Blog – Why Apprenticeships?

by Gillian Johnson

As output in sectors continues to grow, it seems that the skills businesses will need to keep up with demand will become an even bigger struggle to find and recruit for. So how can we fix it? One answer could be the use of apprenticeships – a hot topic of discussion in HR/Employment circles. So what reasons could your business have for taking one on?

1.     Employment of a younger workforce

All facts show that the UK’s workforce continues to get older. Companies are expecting the number of employees aged 60 or above will massively increase by 2020, according to research released last month by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). At The Works, our temporary workforce is, on average, five months older than it was last year.

Employing an apprentice allows you to extend the longevity of your business than just hoping that skilled workers will be on the job market. If the skills shortage continues there is the potential (but very real) risk of prematurely making your business extinct!

2.     A cost effective way to find staff mouldable to your company values

A criticism of apprenticeships in the past has been that they can consume time and resource to train up to the right standard. But at the same time, they are a great way to generate long-standing team members of your business with smaller risks attached to them if they decide to move on.

We’ve all felt the buzz when we have found a new member of experienced staff, who is a perfect match with the company and goes on to be an essential figure for the business and we’ve all felt the pain of taking on a new member of staff, only for them to move on 2-3 months later (with all the expenses attached to it). An apprentice is relatively low-risk solution (with pay around the £150 per week mark) to find a perfect member of staff who could work their wall from the bottom to the top, working to the company values you try to implement within your team.

3.     Give an option to those who don’t want to study degrees

In the past decade, the country went degree-mad. It didn’t matter what you wanted study or if you would be any good at the course, if you were a pupil choosing their options for GCSE and A-Levels the government wanted you to consider going to university or a further education equivalent.

Many students, even those who leave with a first class honours degree, come out of university with no job to go to and have debts of up to £40,000 nowadays.

Apprenticeships provide an alternative avenue to earn and learn – an incentive that will entice many driven and hard-working young workers to be a part of your business.