There’s never been a better time to hire an apprentice – here’s why!
Apprenticeships offer a key route to employment especially within the trades sectors, and with government incentives higher than they have ever been, and the trades industry seeing a surge in demand, now is the perfect time for trades businesses to take on an apprentice to help them grow.
With apprentice numbers taking a hit during the pandemic, we know more needs to be done to help employers, especially small businesses, to take on and train apprentices.
So, what does employing an apprentice mean for heating and plumbing businesses and what are some of the benefits of training your staff through the apprenticeship scheme?
1: Businesses can receive cash grants – big ones too!
Earlier this year, the government announced new grants for employers who hire an apprentice. Now, you will receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any age who have an employment start date of 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.
The new incentive is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice who is aged 16 to 18 years old or under 25 with an education, health, and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority.
According to gov.uk, 86% of employers said apprenticeships developed skills relevant to their organisation and 78% reported improved productivity. With research showing that there is a looming skills gap in the trades sectors, improving your businesses productivity could be the key to post-pandemic growth.
3: New opportunities to upskill and retrain your current workforce
Apprenticeships aren’t just an opportunity to grow your workforce but can be used to fill any skills gaps your business may have. For example, if you own a plumbing firm and want to offer heating services too, your staff could retrain and gain their gas engineer qualification through an apprenticeship.
4: Improved staff retention
We know in the trades sector, having staff that are loyal and that you know you can rely on is incredibly important. Often businesses find that through apprenticeships they are not only able to train employees to the standard they want them to be, but they are also more likely to stay with the businesses for many years.
In a recent survey, 74% of companies surveyed said that apprentices tended to be more loyal than non-apprentices.
5: It simplifies the recruitment process
Recruiting new staff can be costly, time consuming and comes with potential risks. However, when talking on an apprentice, you’ll have the support of an approved training provider, such as the Apprenticeship Academy by HomeServe, who will help you through the entire process of taking on and training an apprentice.
6: It’s cost effective
Apprenticeships are a very cost-effective way to train staff, whether that’s training new employees or upskilling your current employees. In addition to the government grants available, at £4.30 per hour the national minimum wage for apprentices is much lower than the national minimum wage of a full-time worker.
7: Skills can be tailored to your business
Apprentices must spend 80% of their working hours completing on the job training, and that opens up a fantastic opportunity for employers to work closely with new employees and train them in the skills that are important to their business. It can give you that peace of mind that they haven’t picked up any bad practice elsewhere.
What’s the next step?
If you or someone you know owns or runs a heating or plumbing firm and would benefit from taking on an apprentice, then we want to help.
We have advisors ready and waiting to take employers through every step of the process from recruiting to onboarding and securing government grants. Our dedicated team are on hand to make it painless.
If you are run a plumbing or gas company in the East Midlands, Peak District & South Yorkshire, contact the HomeServe Apprenticeship Academy, call Sarah on 07881 037003 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.