6th – 12th of February marks National Apprenticeship Week, with this year’s theme focussed on Skills for Life. The week aims to bring together businesses and Apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that Apprenticeships make not only to individuals, but businesses and the wider economy too.
The role and benefits of Apprentices within a business are being acknowledged by more employers as a vital investment for the future of their business. Either by taking them on via new roles or by developing existing employees to further their careers and professional development.
For Apprentices of all ages, this route to a career provides a chance to earn on the job, whilst also learning a new trade or skill, putting these individuals ahead in the jobs market of others who may have chosen the university route instead. But the benefits don’t just lie with the Apprentices, for employers it’s a chance to source and attract enthusiastic, energetic people with a fresh outlook on the world of work.
Vicky Trumper, Director of Neville Trust, a fifth-generation group of family-run businesses, that includes Neville Funerals, Neville Special Projects and Neville Joinery, highlights the three key reasons why hiring Apprentices makes good business sense.
The benefits of hiring an Apprentice are quite simply endless. Apprenticeships help to grow and nurture new skills as well as harness homegrown talent from within your organisation, often helping to increase staff retention within your business. We recently held our Long Service Awards with 37 of our 187 employees celebrating a combined 475 years of service to the Neville group. The secret? Treat staff with respect, reward, train and nurture, and the outcome and effects will be felt for many years after.
Plugging the skills gap
In many sectors, the Apprenticeship route is being seen by employers as a means of plugging their business’ skills gaps. We often hear how it’s important to “harness your homegrown talent”. Whether these individuals are from local Bedfordshire schools or colleges, both of which often bring eager young people directly into your business at the very start of their careers. A key benefit? Employing someone at the start of their career allows you to shape and mould them to suit your business needs. There are Apprenticeship opportunities in a variety of sectors, whether that be in construction, administration, carpentry and in the funeral industry.
A cost-effective way to grow your business
Like every successful business, investments need to be made and a good place to start your investment journey is with Apprentices. The hiring process is estimated to cost an average of £6416 according to the British Business Bank in November 2022. However, to combat this, growing your team via the apprentice route makes it even more possible to expand the capacity and headcount within the team without the need for huge recruitment costs. At Neville Trust 16% of our current 187 strong workforce started with the business as an apprentice. Finding employees that look at an apprenticeship as a career for life means that you business can continue to grow and expand in the more cost-effective manner, reducing staff turnover.
The chance to train and upskill your existing employees
Whilst Apprenticeships are a great option for fresh new talent, you don’t have to be a new recruit to benefit from an Apprenticeship scheme. In fact, 47% of the Apprenticeships started in 2019/20 in the UK were by people aged 25 and over according to The House of Commons Library. This additional route can also be used to upskill existing employees, which enables them to remain in their current role whilst also taking on additional responsibilities and learning new skills, a win win for everyone. It's important as employers that we continue to invest in our teams. It helps to provide and boost morale, whilst creating new opportunities for your team to help them progress and build on their original skillset.
If you’re ready to hire an apprentice, the government’s Apprenticeship website is a great place to start. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about Apprenticeship, from the Apprenticeship standards available to the training providers that you can choose from. For Neville Trust apprentices have been pivotal to the business’ growth and success, and we will continue to invest in individuals who want to take this career route.