Top Ten Tips for... Using Apprenticeships to Grow Your Own Talent
As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2022, running from February 7th - 13th, we wanted to take a closer look at the benefits that apprenticeships can provide for employers, as well as employees. In today's ever-changing world of work, many students are choosing to take part in workplace learning over traditional classroom environments and many organisations are seeing the benefits of this.
So, as an employer, how can you grow your own talent by making the most of apprenticeships?
1. Find the right fit
If you have a vacancy to fill within your company, there’s no doubt that recruiting an external candidate can be beneficial. As well as bringing potentially valuable experience with them, new employees can also provide a fresh perspective. However, hiring this way can also expose your business to shifts in the recruitment market, something we have seen play out over the last two years. Therefore, there is a lot to be said about companies who grow their own talent by developing and up-skilling existing staff. Think about your ideal candidate and the attributes they possess; is it possible that this person already works for you?
2. Training with your business in mind
Choosing to develop your workforce through apprenticeships will come with a number of advantages, a huge one being that your apprentices will be building skills that are directly relevant to your business. Furthermore, if you have made the choice to develop an existing member of your team then any knowledge they pick up throughout their training can be applied straight away as they work to progress within their job role. A win-win for both the apprentice and the employer!
3. Fill the skills gap
In the ever-changing world of work, it makes sense that from time to time, there would be shortages of certain skills within key areas of any business. Not every situation can be planned for, but if you have made the effort to develop and nurture your workforce then you should be in a better position to fill any skills gaps, as and when they arise.
4. A long-term investment
Another significant benefit of apprenticeships, for both employers and employees, is that they can help organisations keep their teams feeling valued, productive and motivated. A member of staff who feels as though they have been invested in by their employer is likely to be more committed to their job and loyal to the company. So not only will you retain the value of your investment for longer, but you will also produce happy, fulfilled team members.
5. Retain your top talent
If you’re lucky enough to have valuable, hard-working employees within your team, then providing opportunities for growth is essential in order to retain them. There is nothing worse than stagnancy for creating an employee with itchy feet and you don’t want your best people looking for opportunities elsewhere. So whether you have a vacancy to fill or not, encouraging the development of your team can be beneficial for everyone involved.
6. Keep costs down
Did you know that the government has funding in place to help with the cost of your apprenticeships? This means that, for small businesses, choosing to up-skill your staff through apprenticeships is a great, low-cost way of developing talent. As well as this, developing existing employees to fill vacancies within your company will also cut down on the time and money involved in a lengthy recruitment process. Check out the latest information on the GOV.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/employing-an-apprentice/get-funding
7. Expand your workforce
Whether you choose to hire externally or from within your current team, offering apprenticeships is a sure-fire way to make sure you can choose from a pool of ambitious, dedicated jobseekers. Should you wish to grow your team with brand new employees, then the offer of an apprenticeship can be a fantastic incentive for any external candidates who want to earn while gaining valuable, practical experience.
8. Keep track of progress
Tracking the progress of your apprentice will help you both stay motivated and enthusiastic about the opportunity. You will be able to look back at the journey you started together and (hopefully) feel proud of how far you have come. If this is the first time you’ve implemented an apprenticeship within your workplace, then it’s a great idea to keep track of how it’s going from start to finish. Have you noticed any improvements? Have there been any challenges? If this is something you can see your business doing more of in the future, then these records can be extremely helpful to look back on.
9. Ask for feedback
Similarly to the point above, if you are new to the world of apprenticeships, don’t be afraid to ask your apprentice for feedback. Whether they are a brand new hire or have been with the company for a while, how are they finding the process? Are they getting enough support? Is the study/work load manageable for them? Take any comments on board and use them to implement positive changes for both current and future apprentices.
10. Plan for the future
Our final tip – keep looking forward! Hopefully the apprenticeship will have been a success for everyone involved, with both you and your employee getting exactly what they need out of the opportunity. Now that you’ve been through the process and grown your own talent, your business should be in a better position to face whatever the future holds.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1302 802128.