Liz Howarth from PSA Training gives some advice on the benefits of having an apprentice.
One of the first questions I often get asked about apprentices is whether they are worth considering? My simple answer is yes, but of course we need to look in more detail at why I say that.
From my experience in looking for businesses to consider employing apprentices I have heard many different types of responses regarding the young adults of today.
Let’s just say the least polite was “no thank you”, no one is rude thankfully and the most thought provoking response was “the youth of today just think they are entitled!”.
However, there are many more young adults out there that are willing to learn, conscientious and hard working.
Here are some great reasons why an apprentice is a great step:
- It is a cost-effective way to grow a team.
- Train a young adult to high standards – they have not picked up any bad habits from previous employers.
- The apprentice gets to earn whilst they learn.
- A fully qualified member of staff at the end of their course.
- Helping the next generation on their career path.
Which brings me to another point, a couple of myths about apprenticeships.
Some businesses assume an apprentice will leave once they have qualified – wasting time, money and effort!
This is not the case. Most apprentices will stay with the business they trained with. The general reason an apprentice leaves is because employers have not moved them forward, there is no progression. This could be regarding career prospects and/or pay.
Also, though naturally the apprentice will start at the bottom of the ladder, we all know what that means, making tea, sweeping the floors.
However, apprentices should NOT be considered “cheap labour”. Apprentices are employed to learn the business and to gain a qualification.
There is course work and assessments to complete which an employer should allow time during their working day to complete. (This is if there is not a set day to go to college). The employer does have a duty to move an apprentice forward, guide them and give them real, productive work.
On a final note, I have referred to apprentices as young adults, in reality, you can be an apprentice at any age!
An apprenticeship should be beneficial to both the employer and the apprentice and there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t.