National Apprenticeship Week shines a light on the benefit that apprentices can bring to companies in 2021.
With the jobs market in recovery mode following a turbulent 2020, and a significant number of people still out of work (including 16-24 year olds who have been the worst hit demographic for job losses), apprenticeship schemes have the attention of the government as a way of getting people back into work.
As part of the government’s ‘Plan for Jobs‘, created in response to the pandemic, any employer that takes on a new apprentice before 31st March 2021 can claim an incentive payment from the government. For apprentices aged 16-24, the maximum amount is £2,000, and for apprentices over the age 25 the maximum amount is £1,500.
If you’re considering hiring your first ever apprentice, or want some support in making existing apprenticeships a success, here are five areas to start.
Define your goals and objectives
Depending on your industry, it might take an apprentice anywhere between one and a number of years to receive the qualification they’re working towards. It’s therefore important to have a long-term path for the apprentice to follow, with clear goals and milestones. This first starts with you as a business: what can you offer an apprentice, and what do you hope to get out of the apprenticeship yourselves? With these answers in mind, combined with the specifics of the qualification in question, work backwards to create a structured apprenticeship programme with regular points of review.
Assign a mentor
It’s easy to overlook as an employer, but apprenticeships can feel scary at the very beginning for those new to the world of work, or to those doing an apprenticeship as a way of changing careers. Assigning a mentor, or ‘buddy’, can provide much needed support to help apprentices to feel supported and hit the ground running.
This relationship also provides the opportunity for instant knowledge sharing, allowing apprentices to settle in and get up to speed quickly.
Take a nurturing management approach
Young workers and career starters are often shy about asking for help. It’s important to therefore schedule frequent check-ins to monitor progress, offer guidance and clarify expectations. Not only that, but take time to ensure they’re managing both their workload and their supporting study requirements.
This approach is a win-win. Apprentices will grow faster and your business will benefit from the results they’ll get back along the way.
Make regular feedback a priority
Apprentices, no matter their background or experience, will almost certainly be doing the role and working in the industry for the first time. They’re facing a lot of unknowns and have a steep learning curve to follow. It’s therefore vital to maintain an open line of communication for any and all feedback. Despite good intentions, waiting too long to give fair but critical feedback can make some habits and learnings much harder to undo than if they were brought up earlier.
Be open to learning
Apprentices offer a fresh pair of eyes to any business, bringing unbiased perspectives and a hunger to learn.
They may be able to spot and question things in a way which others who are entrenched in the business may not. This makes them a valuable source of feedback for any manner of topics. Therefore, in addition to their structured programme, give apprentices the opportunity to observe and get involved in initiatives outside of their immediate remit in order for them to develop thoughts and opinions to add value.
Finding apprentices on reed.co.uk
Our CV Search database allows you to find candidates who are actively interested in finding an apprenticeship – including features to filter by sector, contract type (full-time or part-time) and more – so you can reach out to them instantly and secure your next apprentice hire.
Start looking for your perfect apprentice today on reed.co.uk’s CV Search.