National Apprenticeship Week

In this blog, both Sam and Gerard tell you the benefits on apprenticeships!

What experience do you have with apprenticeships?

I worked for a National Training Provider for 5 and a half years, working my way up from being a Telesales Executive to a Recruitment Manager. I have a good insight into the industry and have both placed apprentices into other businesses and managed apprentices in house.

What do you think businesses need to consider before taking on an apprentice?

I’d say for an SME it is making sure you have the necessary budget, training capability and a mentor/buddy for the apprentice to confide in. Taking on any member of staff is a commitment and an apprentice should be no different. Giving them regular 1-2-1 sessions, incentives and sufficient time for studying is crucial to an apprentice development in their early stages. Continuous review of performance is also a key factor.

What are the benefits to a business?

An apprentice is a cost-effective way of introducing a new member of staff into the business and where possible I would recommend it unless the experience is absolutely necessary. Moulding an apprentice into the culture of your company can be an effective business decision and if they are made to feel valued the chances of retention will be higher. There are also government grants available to help cover the costs of hiring an apprentice.

What would you say to a school leaver considering an apprenticeship?

Consider all of your options. I would argue Apprenticeships are now the best way into the majority of job roles due to competition and costs of higher education. Unless you really need the degree status in your industry, a lot of companies I have spoken to would see the experience as more beneficial than a degree without it.



What experience do you have with apprenticeships?

Having spent 5 years of my career working with hundreds of budding apprentices for a Training Provider in Ipswich, Suffolk – I am an ambassador for apprenticeships. I have been witness to seeing apprenticeships transform organisations, supporting large scale growth.

What do you think businesses need to consider before taking on an apprentice?

You need to have a good support plan in place and have the time to invest in training them. If you have the right infrastructure, (even as a small business – we took on two apprentices as our third and fourth employee) and the time to put into an apprentice then they can add significant value to your business. I would also encourage having a thorough recruitment process with tailoring your interviews to their age and experience to ensure you get the right fit for your company.

What are the benefits to a business?

Apprentices are a low-cost way to recruit & train the future talent of your business. Coming into your role with a blank canvas, you can train them to your way of thinking and they will always appreciate you being the first business to give them an opportunity. It’s great PR and it’s really rewarding personally too.

What would you say to a school leaver considering an apprenticeship?

Take your time to find the right role. Once you’ve found it, put in a lot of time and effort to ensure you nail the interview process – researching the company and staff who work there. If you’re successful in the role; constantly demonstrate your keenness to succeed and have the confidence to ask questions when you are unsure of what to do next. Ask friends and family for tips and guidance on how to conduct yourself during an interview and whilst at work.

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