Hiring apprentices is a topic that leaves a lot of employers divided. Some tradespeople feel like an apprentice can be a great addition to their team, whilst others believe they’re not worth the time to train them.
We feel that the pros of hiring an apprentice greatly outweigh the cons. Keep reading to find out 5 reasons why you should hire an apprentice this national apprenticeship week.
1. They’re cost-effective labour
Now, you’re never going to get a worker for free. Apprentices have a minimum wage rate, which is cheapest when they’re under 19 or in their first year of an apprenticeship and rises to standard minimum wage rates after this. Nevertheless, an apprentice is likely to the most cost-effective labour you can get.
Obviously there’s a reason why apprentices are paid lower rates. They have significantly less skills and experience than you and your other employees might have. But if you get an apprentice who’s motivated and eager to learn, they can be a great addition to your team. They give you the chance to use your skilled workers where they’re most needed. Training your apprentice up for basic tasks shouldn’t be too time consuming and will mean that you or your more experienced employees can get on with the specialised work and get jobs done quicker. There are also government grants available to give you an incentive to hire an apprentice and offset any training costs.
2. They can improve your staff retention rate
While you’ll have to invest time into training your apprentice when they start, if you’re a good mentor they can quickly turn into a skilled and loyal employee. Lots of apprentices end up staying on at the company they originally trained with. If you invest in them they will remember this and pay you back with hard work and loyalty.
3. They can fill skill gaps in your company
An apprentice is basically a blank canvas. If you’ve noticed that your company is missing a particular skillset, you can train your apprentice up in this specific area. Lots of older tradespeople can be reluctant to go back to college and start learning again after years of experience on the job. So take advantage of an apprentice to increase the range of skills and knowledge in your company.
4. You have the chance to improve your own skills
Hiring an apprentice can give you the chance to improve your own skills. Training an inexperienced new team member is a great opportunity to develop your own managerial skills and improve the way you communicate with your staff.
Also, most apprentices have to attend college one day a week. This can give you a great source of information on the latest developments in your trade. You may find that you benefit from your apprentice’s knowledge as well as the other way around.
5. You can give something back
Hiring an apprentice is a great opportunity to give something back to your trade and increase skills in your regional area. It’s likely that your career got kick-started by an employer giving you a chance. It may sound cheesy, but taking on an apprentice is your opportunity to the same for another young person and help them start a career.
So hiring an apprentice can hugely benefit you, your company and your trade. To learn more about hiring an apprentice, take a look at the government’s website.