The Benefits Of Hiring An Apprentice.17th September 2018
“Historically apprenticeships have been an untapped resource across our industry but we hope this guide will help more employers to benefit from investing in training the next generation of project professionals.” John McGlynn, APM Chair
An apprenticeship enables anyone aged 16 and over to learn a profession by acquiring the knowledge and skills in a classroom environment and gaining practical experience at work. An Apprenticeship lasts for at least 1 year and up to a maximum of 5 years depending on the Apprentices circumstances and industry sector. There are more than 250 different types of Apprenticeships available for over 1,500 job roles, in hundreds of industry sectors, from marketing to accountancy, veterinary nursing and engineering to IT.
The National Apprenticeship Service define an apprenticeship as “a genuine job with an accompanying assessment and skills development programme. It is a way for individuals to earn while they learn gaining valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role. The apprentice gains this through a wide mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practise new skills in a real work environment. Apprenticeships benefit employers and individuals, and by boosting the skills of the workforce they help to improve economic productivity”.
How do Apprenticeships work?
Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their time on off-the-job training. It is up to the employer and training provider to decide how the off the-job training is delivered. It may include regular day release, block release and special training days or workshops. It must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship framework or standard and can be delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work as long as it is not part of their normal working duties. It can cover practical training such as shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attending competitions.
On-the-job training helps an apprentice develop the specific skills for the workplace and they should be supported by a mentor. Once an apprentice completes their apprenticeship they should be able to demonstrate that they can perform tasks confidently and completely to the standard set by industry.
Who are they for?
Many apprentices are school leavers and young people, but there is no upper age limit. If you’re over 16, living in England and not in full time education then an apprenticeship could be perfect for you. An Apprentice must spend at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of their apprenticeship and not be in full-time education. Employers can offer apprenticeships to new entrants or use them to grow talent from among current employees. Apprenticeships equip individuals with the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviour they need for specific job roles, future employment and progression.
Benefits of hiring apprentices
Apprentices provide many benefits to your business. They can provide you with an extra pair of hands, help to reduce staff turnover and allow you to grown your own, well trained, employees of the future. According to the National Apprenticeship Service, “Employers who have an established apprenticeship programme reported that productivity in their workplace had improved by 76% whilst 75% reported that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service”. Hiring an Apprentice can also significantly reduce your recruitment costs.
What’s the cost of training an apprentice?
You can get government apprenticeship funding to cover some of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice. The amount of funding you can get will depend on whether or not you pay the apprenticeship levy and your apprentices’ circumstances.
For SMEs, the amount of funding you can get will depend on the size of your business and your apprentices’ circumstances:
- the government pays 90% of an SME’s training and assessment costs for the lifetime of the apprenticeship, any age, any level (up to funding band maximum)
- an extra £1,000 grant will be paid to any SME who takes on a 16 to 18 year old or 19 to 24 year old who has previously been in care
- businesses with under 50 staff will also see 100% of training and assessment costs paid for if they recruit an apprentice aged 16 to 18
- further support is also available for SMEs who take on those with additional learning needs