The last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in the number of apprenticeships offered in the UK, with 509,400 courses beginning in 2015/16.
Apprentices not only fill skills gaps, they do so in a cost-effective way, which affords businesses more freedom to nurture the next generation of talent.
Property maintenance specialists Novus Property Solutions spoke to a number of experts on the matter, gaining crucial insight into the value of apprentices in businesses.
“In essence, the apprentice is securing a role, income and opportunity that they are not necessarily qualified for,” says Lukas Vanterpool, Director of The Sterling Choice, a recruitment agency catering largely to the food and engineering industries. Often the apprenticeship they secure is one that is of genuine interest to them, so they get to work in a role that they are genuinely passionate about. This is an offering of a career without the need for a three-year university degree”.
According to Lukas, youngsters have plenty to gain from an apprenticeship scheme.
It’s not just the young trainee who benefits, of course. Beyond job prospects and personal development, those working elsewhere in the business can also learn something from the apprentice.
“Employing millennials through apprenticeships is a fantastic way of injecting new energy and creative ideas into a business,” says Richard Daniel Curtis, founder of The Mentoring School – a platform offering training and advice to businesses who take on apprentices. “The way apprentices approach problem solving is vastly different from other staff and that can often lead to new and innovative ways of working.”
According to Richard, young people who are new to the industry can invigorate the workplace and bring a healthy dose of enthusiasm: “When using technology, for example, apprentices are often keen to improve processes, or find ways of speeding them up.”
“Employing millennials through apprenticeships is a fantastic way of injecting new energy and creative ideas into a business. The way apprentices approach problem solving is vastly different from other staff and that can often lead to new and innovative ways of working. When using technology, for example, apprentices are often keen to improve processes, or find ways of speeding them up.”
“More than the impact on the processes, an apprenticeship also helps to develop staff, giving them the opportunity to mentor and nurture someone inexperienced. The development of these interpersonal skills has a knock-on impact for the way they support other members of staff, potentially having a far wider impact.”
If your business is encountering a skills shortage or recruitment problem, you might consider an apprentice to inject a little more enthusiasm. They are an ideal solution, and will relish the opportunity to make an impression. “They are hungry for the opportunity, they want to learn and are fresh with new ideas without many preconceptions. In many cases there is little fear and they are open to making mistakes,” says Lukas Vanterpool of The Sterling Choice for some insight.
“Notoriously, apprentices are younger and other members of the team are open to helping them and pass on their knowledge which in turn improves communication and morale”
Between the apprentice, the colleagues, the business owner, the business itself and the wider UK economy, there is a wide range of benefits to be had from apprentices. It’s a win-win situation all around.