Opinion

5 business-boosting benefits apprentices can bring to your firm

If you employ apprentices, then National Apprenticeship Week is your chance to celebrate all that is wonderful about your own young professionals! Or if you’re considering of taking on apprentices, the week can be a great source of information and inspiration.

This week the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is calling on businesses around the country to help promote the positive impact apprentices have on individuals, businesses and the country.

For example, Cambridge Regional College, Lowestoft College, West Suffolk College and Essex County Council are all getting involved with a variety of activities. From an exhibition to a dinner cooked by professional cookery apprentices, it’s all happening!

With vacancies across the East of England listed on the NAS website increasing by 23% between August and October last year, it seems that more and more of our fellow employers are seeing just what a fantastic addition to their teams an apprentice really is.

Also according to NAS, 96% of employers working with apprentices see benefits to their business. And we at Pure can vouch for these advantages - we employ five hard-working young professionals who took on apprenticeships after joining us. And we are very proud to be helping them take their first steps in a career in recruitment at our offices in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Norwich.

We’ve rustled together some examples of the kind of positives an apprentice can bring to your own organisation. By the time you’ve read them, you could well find yourself wondering why you haven’t already signed up some of your staff to an apprenticeship scheme!

 1.    Fresh ideas, new perspectives

Apprentices can bring with them a fresh perspective– from the latest digital trends to new suggestions on expanding your offering. Their enthusiasm to learn on the job can help generate ideas among your workforce that otherwise may not have cropped up. This can lead to enhanced and improved products and services, and a rise in income and renewed customer interest.

 2.    Helping you keep talent

The expectation that there will be an increase in people moving jobs as we enter economic recovery has been well documented. As apprentices receive work-based training, their skills and drive to complete nationally recognised qualifications such as NVQs, means they may prefer to stay with you and continue to build on what they’ve learned. As they train and develop, and share ideas with others, your longer term employees may feel more engaged, as well as motivated to sign up to more training themselves. All of this can contribute to low staff turnover.

3.    Solving skill shortages

With the country’s ageing population, valuable industry skills could be lost. Apprentices learn these skills right from the beginning of their careers, and continue to develop their expertise as your organisation evolves. By investing in these young workers you are likely to also be investing in your own business. It’s good business sense!

4.    Boost in productivity

The average employee completing an apprenticeship programme increases productivity by a whopping £214 week– while giving their businesses an injection of fresh talent.

5.    Great for your reputation

As you invest in apprentices and give them opportunities to learn, and eventually move up through the company, you are showing a serious commitment to your staff’s professional development. You want to keep them on board and give them skills, and it’s excellent for existing staff and potential new recruits to see this too.

Whether you’re quietly congratulating yourself on making the brilliant decision to employ apprentices, or whether you’re currently building a case to recruit them, it’s certainly worth visiting the National Apprenticeship Week website.

To talk to us about our experiences of the apprenticeship scheme, please get in touch with Anna Hill, Marketing Manage, anna.hill@prs.uk.com