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If you’re looking to grow talent and develop a motivated, highly skilled and qualified workforce, you should consider employing the next generation of tradespeople – apprentices. From addressing skills gaps to enhancing your company culture, JTL’s Policy & External Relations Director, Caroline Turner, discusses how apprentices can take your business to the next level.
Match the skills you need
It’s no secret that the UK is experiencing a skills shortage, with 91% of organisations struggling to find workers with the right abilities over a 12-month period. This is resulting in employers, large and small, paying a high price to ensure their organisations have the skills required to remain productive.
This is something that can be combatted through taking on apprentices. In a combination of practical, on-the-job training and studying for professional qualifications, apprentices become highly skilled and useful members of the team as they progress through their training.
According to the 2019 TESP Labour Marketing Intelligence Report, apprentices in the electrotechnical sector are seen as vital for its future. Employers see them as a way to overcome the ageing workforce and to create succession plans where needed – with apprentices being positively described as ‘critical’, ‘invaluable’ and ‘essential’.
When considering apprenticeship training, the report outlines how employers prefer a greater focus on the hands-on elements of the profession, and more practical and on-site experience. Many employers suggest that it is the best assurance that a capable individual can work within the business model. Soft skills training and mandatory training, such as health and safety, are also considered of high importance to employers and are valuable parts of the apprenticeship which are reinforced through on-the-job, and practical experience.
One of the most important questions facing employers is whether it is worthwhile taking on an apprentice. A number of government and industry documents argue that apprenticeships are not only a benefit to young people but bring substantial benefits to the companies that take them on.
Wondering how this all translates financially? The TESP report published a table highlighting the return on investment for an electro-technical apprentice. Based on a “low” charge-out rate, an apprentice delivers a net benefit of around £8,300 over the four years. However, at higher charge-out rates, the apprentice begins to pay for him or herself in year two and, by the end of year four has created a net benefit of just over £16,000 at medium charge out rates and £23,000 at high rates. Over the four years, the apprentice could earn the employer a net benefit of over £37,000 (at the higher charge out rates).
An enhanced company culture
So, how else can apprenticeships benefit your organisation? Results of the TESP report state that apprentices are deemed to be best placed to train, understand and support business progression and to reinforce a company’s approach to emerging and future technologies. The use of apprenticeships is also seen to have wider benefits for the organisation, as it creates a chance for additional responsibility and development of the supervising staff.
It’s more than just a business’ perception within its industry, it’s what customers think too. Encouragingly, more than 8 out of 10 customers prefer to buy from companies that employ apprentices and 25% are even willing to pay more for a business that employs apprentices.
Apprenticeships also contribute positively to company culture. As well as bringing new and exciting ideas to your business, apprentices support busier members of staff and learn from their experience. By giving staff the ability to work more productively, you will also be making your business more productive, ultimately boosting team morale.
There’s never been a better or more exciting time to take on an apprentice. To understand how JTL can support you through securing government funding and the process of taking on an apprentice, visit, www.jtltraining.com.