Apprenticeships: Full potential

Utilising apprentices could be the way to maximise your business’ full potential

Published:  19 May, 2022

Apprenticeships are still seen as a secondary route to many, which is just not the case. Not only are they integral to the growth of businesses, but they are a beneficial and effective way of learning too. Offering the added bonus of on-the-job learning, which a degree acquired from behind a desk just cannot provide, apprenticeships should not be looked at as anything other than a useful avenue into the workforce.
    By focusing on creating delivery plans for every apprentice, businesses can develop employees who have the right skills, and ultimately help them grow into new markets or expertise. Knowing how to do this, whether it be understanding funding available to them, or the best resources can be tricky, but businesses can work with training providers, such as The Skills Network to help them maximise the Apprenticeship Levy.
    There are many benefits to a successful apprenticeship scheme, but it is important to keep a few things in mind to ensure both your business and your apprentice reap the rewards.  

They bring a fresh perspective
It can be easy when you are doing a job every day, to be too busy or too used to something to think outside the box. Hiring apprentices allows for an alternative perspective, and one who has a little more time to consider things and think creatively, especially if you include this in their objectives.
    
Be sure to work collaboratively with your apprentices and encourage them to share any ideas they have. Not only will that help them feel valued and motivate them in their learning, but it could bring exciting new opportunities to the table or even boost efficiency and make your employee’s lives easier.

They can plug the skills gap in your business
If you have noticed the need for training in certain areas in your business, hiring an apprentice could be the perfect solution. Whether that is the need for better IT skills or HR policies and work culture, you can create a unique learning plan with your apprentice, designed to give them the skills your business is lacking.
    
Apprentices can then feed their learnings back and upskill your current team, or even own the area with the help of someone more senior, allowing them to bring positive change while motivating them, as they see their learning directly impacting the workplace.

Help you branch out into new expertise
Apprenticeships are now helping all sorts of business, including those beyond the garage sphere. This could be a brand agency who wants to start thinking about social media, or a household name who has the need for new website capabilities. Many in the independent garage sector will have come up through the apprenticeship route, and know what it can offer. Whatever it may be, an effective apprenticeship programme could open new doors to your business, and ultimately help you boost revenue.
    
Do not forget to work closely with your apprentice to find out their current skillset and build a programme which will not only help you hit business objectives, but also help them hone a craft you just do not have the staff for currently.
    
These benefits however, mean nothing if businesses do not provide their apprentices with all the help they need. Having an apprentice who does not have the correct training or resources is not going to give your business the benefits you want to see, through no fault of their own. Businesses have a responsibility to ensure they have effective learning resources, support and objectives to monitor their progress. Each apprentice should be provided with a tailored learning journey, including a plan which can be codesigned with the employer.
    
The apprenticeship process is already quite complex, but employers have access to support from learning providers such as The Skills Network, who can help them understand the skills gap each apprentice has, before helping them plug it.
    
While businesses need to think about the skills their company needs, it is also vital that we take lessons from the last 18 months, which has shown the need for transferable skills in order to keep the economy moving effectively. Apprenticeships should be provided with those skills too as young people enter the workforce, and, who knows, it could open the door up for new business opportunities you never even considered.
    
To find out more about The Skills Network’s apprenticeship programme visit: theskillsnetwork.com/funding-streams/apprenticeships
 

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