Apprenticeships – Are They Worth It?2nd August 2021
Apprenticeships – Are they worth it?
The simple answer is yes – but it is important that we explain why that yes is so resounding. Firstly, what actually is an apprenticeship? 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.” It is a mix of on-the-job and off-the-job training that gives apprentices the opportunity to practise new skills in a real-work environment.
Although, many apprentices are young people and school leavers, there is no upper age limit. As long as someone is over 16, living in England and not in full time education, they are eligible for an apprenticeship. They are a perfect opportunity to plan ahead and have employees with the correct skills, built in the mould of your company and atmosphere – a great long-term benefit!
Non-Financial Benefits to Employer
Apprentices provide many benefits to your business. According to the National Apprenticeship Service, 78% of employers said they helped improve productivity at the workplace. Meanwhile, 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service. This is indicative of the correlation between an apprentice and productivity – whether it is the extra motivation given to every employee to show example and improve or the extra pair of hands helping with each and every task; the correlation is clear and positive.
Financial Benefits to Employer
Financially, an apprentice is not as big a burden as you might believe. Government funding is available to cover parts of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice, as well as potential incentive payments. This, however, is dependent on circumstances. For example, if you do not have a pay bill over £3 million each year, you will only have to pay 5% of the training and assessing of your apprentice and the government will pay the rest (up to the funding maximum, which varies based on the apprenticeship). You can also claim incentive payments of up to £3000 for apprentices who start between 1st April 2021 and 30th September 2021 – the application for this payment expires 30th November 2021. For more information, press the link https://www.gov.uk/employing-an-apprentice/get-funding.
Apprenticeships’ Rising Popularity
The reasons above are why they are growing rapidly more popular year on year and becoming a viable option instead of further study for school leavers. According to the House of Commons Library, 742,400 people were participating in an apprenticeship in England in 2018/19, a figure that has halted in the last two years due to Covid-19. However, with the funding available it is clear that the Government see apprenticeships as a key fixture in our economic recovery and are really pushing smaller businesses to take on apprentices and upskill their workforces.