For any business, hiring the right staff is key to developing a successful and productive workforce but training staff takes time and commitment. Many businesses are now finding that taking on an apprentice is a great way of growing talent as well as enhancing the skills and motivation of their employees.

There are many benefits to taking on an apprentice and a recent government survey found that 86% of employers said that taking an apprentice had helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation. 74% also said that apprenticeships had improved productivity along with 74% of employers who felt that apprenticeships improved the quality of the product or service that they were offering.

An apprenticeship is a system of training which involves an individual carrying out on-the-job training alongside studying with a training provider. 80% of their training is in the workplace with the remaining 20% taking place away from their day-to-day job. This could be in the form of taught lessons, job shadowing, mentoring or internal training courses.

An apprentice can offer many benefits to your organisation and team, including:

Generating new skills – An apprentice will be learning new skills and developing their knowledge of the industry, which can be skills other members of the team can benefit from.
Improved staff retention – Hiring an apprentice or retraining staff through an apprenticeship can improve overall staff satisfaction and retention because they will feel that you are investing in them and their future.
Creating a culture of lifelong learning – The system of learning both on and off the job becomes a way of working which can continue once the apprenticeship has finished.
Tailored to your business – Apprenticeships can be tailored to specific job roles, which makes them flexible to the needs of your business. You can train a new employee to think and act in the interests of your business right from the start.
Funding is available – Help is available from the government to pay for training and assessment. The amount that you receive will depend on whether you pay the apprenticeship levy or not. If you do not pay the levy, you will pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice, with the government paying the rest. You could also be eligible for extra funding, depending on both your and your apprentice’s circumstances.

As Rosa dos Santos, owner of Exact Sourcing explains, it is not just traditional industries or larger organisations that are going down the apprenticeship route as small businesses are also finding that it’s a useful way to recruit and train new staff. ‘Apprenticeships now cover in excess of 170 industries and 1,500 job roles, right up to degree level so they are an excellent way of adding to your workforce,’ says Rosa. ‘An apprentice doesn’t have to be a completely new person that joins your company as it could be a fantastic way to upskill an existing employee. Keeping up with new advances can be difficult for any business, but apprenticeships can provide you with the skilled workers that you need for the future of your business. Whatever sector you’re in, there are so many benefits that employing an apprentice can bring to your business.’

Exact Sourcing is a recruitment agency in Cambridge and Newmarket, also serving Ely, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Royston and Sawston. If you are looking to expand your staff or are considering taking on an apprentice and would like more information, why not contact us for an initial conversation?