​Top 10 Tips for... Appointing an apprentice

​Top 10 Tips for... Appointing an apprentice

With the cost of university fees soaring, young people looking for ways into work are relying more than ever before on apprenticeships. Learning a trade on the job and working up the career ladder is becoming more acceptable and attractive to ambitious people starting their careers, particularly now there is more support from the Government for apprentices and employers alike. And with businesses often struggling to attract the right kind of candidates with the skills, commitment and dedication to learning on the job means apprenticeships offer a way to mould and nurture new talent.

Here are our top 10 tips for appointing an apprentice in your workplace.

1. Be clear what your apprentice will do

Like any job, apprenticeships exist in a variety of work fields, from marketing, health and beauty to IT and engineering. There are apprenticeships at every level, from trainee to management roles and an apprentice can be a new employee or an existing colleague. You need to make sure you have a clear need for an apprentice in your workplace and set goals and objectives to help you and them achieve as much as possible from the role.

2. Get help in finding your apprentice

Apprenticeships are becoming more widely recognised as an alternative to university and are therefore more popular than ever before. You can seek help finding the best apprentices by advertising your vacancy via the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). Schools, colleges and careers services encourage people to utilise the NAS, so you’re more likely to get a positive response than simply adding the vacancy to your online job board.

Why Learning a trade on the job is becoming more attractive to ambitious people starting their careers. CLICK TO TWEET

3. Think about the type of person you’re looking for

An apprentice is someone who you can nurture, train and help to develop their skills for a specific role with the aim of retaining them within your firm once they have graduated from their apprenticeship. It’s not about looking for a fully qualified employee who can hit the ground running. The personal attributes of an apprentice are more important – such as their ambition, willingness to learn andto work hard, an inquisitive nature and good communication skills. Think about what kind of person you’re looking for and how they may be a good fit for your firm.

Related Article: Get on Board with the New Apprenticeship Levy

4. Offer a work trial first

If you’re unsure about who to offer an apprenticeship to, or how to develop the role in your workplace, then why not offer a work trial or work experience role to suitable candidates first? This could help you learn more about what your business needs are and what kind of apprentice you’re looking for.

5. Make sure you’re a welcoming company

Anyone at any level experiences first day nerves and your new apprentice is likely to be no different. Modern apprentices can be of any age these days, but they are likely to be nervous about how they fit into your organisation and what their role will entail. It may well be their first experience of the world of work or a leap of faith for someone looking to try their hand at something new. Be inviting, friendly and welcoming and show them how grateful you are to have a new team member. 

6. Make sure your apprentice has a mentor

Having a mentor to help guide the way can be really inspiring and motivating. Just like a favourite school teacher, a work place mentor can have a really positive impact on a person’s life. Any business looking to take on an apprentice needs to ensure there is an appropriate line management structure in place and that they know they have someone approachable to go to for advice and guidance. This will also ensure your apprentice is happy, productive and more likely to stay once their apprenticeship is completed.

7. Think of the bigger picture

Your apprentice could potentially offer you a new perspective and insight into your business. To help glean their ideas, you need to think about the bigger picture and offer them opportunities to work within your wider business. This will help them improve their knowledge of the industry you work in.

8. Monitor their progress

Tracking the progress of your apprentice will help you and them stay motivated and enthusiastic about the role. You will be able to look back at the journey you started together and (hopefully) feel proud of how far you have come. This will also help you and your apprentice to remain focused and motivated.

9. Set specific goals

Have a think about what goals you want your apprentice to concentrate on. Thinking about what you want your apprentice to channel their energy into will help them focus. Remember to keep the goals you set in bite-sized chunks, so they don’t start to feel like a burden. 

10. Involve your apprentice

Don’t forget your apprentice is part of your team. Involving them in any team events or meetings is a must if you want them to feel involved and for them to feel like there’s a future within your business once their apprenticeship is over. But you should also go one step further and involve them in any engagement activity, team building sessions, photo calls or high profile activity within your firm. This will show that they are a valued member of your team and their opinions and ideas really do matter. 

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cHRysos HR Solutions is a Doncaster based HR training and consultancy company providing CIPD accredited qualifications, Apprenticeships, Training and HR Services to SMEs nationwide. For more information about how cHRysos HR can help you or your teams successfully achieve further qualifications, contact us on info@chrysos.org.uk or call +44 (0)1302 802128.