If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that businesses need to continuously expand their horizons and shake-up their working practices to stay competitive and relevant in an ever-changing jobs market.
This National Apprenticeship Week, we explore why taking on an apprentice or setting up a rolling apprenticeship scheme might the perfect next step for your business in this era of the ‘new normal’.
To plug skills gaps
According to recent research, 86 per cent of employers have said that apprentices have helped them develop relevant skills to their organisations. In this day and age, with the vast and rapid enhancements of technologies and online communication tools, businesses are finding it harder to fill vacancies where niche skill sets are required.
Apprentices are very often a fantastic solution to this problem. Their open-mindedness, motivation and adaptability make them the perfect candidates to learn quickly and efficiently in specific areas, particularly new technology advancements such as AI and machine learning, that the business needs to build upon to stay competitive.
To enhance the diversity of your talent pool
Apprenticeships, differently to many other traditional routes of entering the workplace, are far more accessible to a wider group of people. This means that employers are much more likely to have access to a much more diverse talent pool, which perhaps without an apprenticeship scheme, may have gone untapped. Not only will this give you access to new skills, but it will also open the table to fresh perspectives and varied ways of thinking.
Not forgetting to mention either that, according to McKinsey, diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform less diverse peers on profitability.
To positively impact your bottom line
Apprenticeships have proven to be invaluable to businesses and their reputations. 77 per cent of employers believe that apprenticeships make them more competitive for a host of reasons.
- Apprentices greatly improve productivity. Not only do they meet tasks with enthusiasm, but they also free up the time of more senior members of the team who can then focus on crucial assignments. According to research from Babington Group, the average apprentice can increase productivity by £214 a week.
- Employers also report that apprentices greatly improve the quality of their products or services, in turn creating a much greater impact on profit and turnover.
- Additionally, apprentices are much more likely to remain within a business or organisation for much longer than other members of staff. According to research by the Skills Funding Agency, 80 per cent of companies who invest in apprentices report an increase in overall employee retention. Seeing as losing a member of staff and having to replace them can cost a company up to £30,000 per year, strong levels of retention are a clear money saver.
If you weren’t sold on the idea of having an apprenticeship scheme before, I hope you are now!