For Derbyshire business leaders looking to prosper in 2022, taking on new apprentices may be the best decision you could make.
From increasing staff satisfaction to boosting the quality of your product or service, these motivated, loyal and skilled employees are ready and willing to make a real difference to organisations across the county – including yours.
Derbyshire Council’s employment and skills strategy launched in 2019 identified the skills gap as one of the key barriers stopping people getting into work, pinpointing apprenticeships as a crucial way of making the local economy more productive.
Given the amount of financial support for recruiting apprentices now on offer, there’s never been a better time to launch a scheme like this. With that in mind, here are six ways modern apprenticeships could provide a welcome boost to your Derbyshire business:
1. They help grow a qualified, skilled and motivated workforce – and upskill existing staff
The benefits of apprenticeships work both ways – and it’s not only the new starter that gets a huge boost. Hiring an apprentice is a very productive and effective way for any business to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
One of the biggest reasons for firms taking them on is a need to improve the quality of their skills base, helping the longer-term potential of business development.
With a skills gap facing industries across the UK as well as in Derby and Derbyshire, it’s one of the best ways to combat the issue, and in doing so mould a brand-new employee to a specific role, with skills directly relevant to that job.
The University of West London said one of the greatest benefits is that the new starter will work in the knowledge that at the end of the period, they will gain a qualification that is “tremendously valuable” – both to them as an individual and you as an employer.
2. They bring new ideas and a fresh approach into the business
As well as allowing your business to shape and develop the perfect candidate for the job, apprentices can undoubtedly bring a new perspective to your business – as well as new ideas and fresh perspective.
You’ll have your pick of the brightest and most dedicated jobseekers. Of course, the person will be working with your company in a bid to develop skills and kick start their career, but don’t forget they’ll be more than able and willing to help in any way they can – and may even have skills not currently on offer in your organisation.
3. They improve the delivery and quality of your product
There’s no doubt these schemes bring real benefits in a business sense too – not only boosting employee engagement but also productivity and competitiveness.
According to the Government’s National Apprenticeship Service, employers with an established programme said workplace productivity soared by 76%, with 75% of employers reporting an improved quality of their service or product.
A further survey by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found 96% of employers to have benefitted from schemes. That research by Employee Benefits said almost three-quarters (72%) experienced improved productivity, with the average placement increasing business productivity by £214 per week.
4. They increase staff satisfaction and loyalty
These schemes are also a great way of boosting staff morale, loyalty and job satisfaction. As soon as apprentices come onboard, they are entitled to all benefits available to staff on the payroll – leaving them feeling part of a team from the off and – as a result – more content, happy and committed.
Anthony Impey, founder of London-based IT firm Optimity told the Guardian last year that businesses not hiring apprentices are missing a trick for this very reason.
He said: “It’s hard to find highly skilled, affordable candidates in tech, so we develop talent in-house. Apprentices make loyal, skilled employees who have a positive impact on the whole team. They give us a competitive advantage.”
5. They can reduce recruitment costs
Make no mistake about it, recruitment, and everything that comes with it, is expensive and brings its own pitfalls and risks.
While there may be some costs associated with apprenticeships particularly at the start, rest assured these will be cancelled out by the benefits before long – particularly with the host of funding options on offer.
It’s widely accepted that the experience and training an apprentice receives often persuades them to remain loyal to their employer – particularly when there are opportunities for promotion and career development.
6. You’ll be helping the next generation get the training, skills and experience needed to start their career and enter your industry
It’s been an incredibly challenging two years not only for business, but for younger people looking to get a head start in their career – many now left without the same opportunities enjoyed by older generations.
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of your business providing a helping hand to individuals seeking the training, skills and experience needed to enter the industry. As well as bringing all of the above benefits to your organisation and boosting its business profile, it could be your way of giving back to the community – and in doing so, helping tackle unemployment, boosting diversity and enabling your sector flourish.
Get in touch to find out how HomeServe’s Apprenticeship Academy can support Derbyshire employers with trade apprenticeships.