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Apprenticeships – good for your business
There are so many real, bottom line business benefits from employing Apprentices that Karen Woodward, Apprenticeship Director for the West Midlands, can’t understand why every employer in the region doesn’t already do it!
“Some people think Apprenticeships are a thing of the past, but, at a time when cuts are being made elsewhere, the Government believes they will play a vital role in economic recovery and stability, and has committed over £1.3 billion every year to increasing the numbers.
“We have a number of Apprenticeship vacancies on our website but we need more employers to come forward through this Apprenticeship challenge to help Herefordian people, especially young adults, to start on a brand new career path. She continued, “For employers an apprentice will bring real business benefits that more than repays any investment in skills and will contribute to the local economy. So Apprenticeships do matter to employers, individuals and the country.”
Apprenticeships offer businesses:
- 100% training funded by Government for 16 to 18 year olds and there is also funding for adult apprentices.
- Employers pay the salary; the national minimum wage for apprentices under 19 is £2.50 an hour, although many employers choose to pay more.
- Support for the induction of new recruits, upskilling or even reskilling an existing workforce to meet the changing needs of your industry.
- Support to recruit; there is a free, national recruitment service dedicated to finding the best candidate for your company.
- Over 200 sector frameworks from Nursing to Graphic Design, Horticulture to Electric Vehicle Engineering and which cover thousands of different job roles.
- A return on investment ; Many Apprentices pay back a hundredfold the investment made in them, staying with the company, many of them often working their way up into management positions. The return on Government investment for Apprenticeships works out at around £40 for each £1 of Government funding.
A study carried out by the University of Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) demonstrated that Apprenticeships are an investment by employers and where the investment is nurtured, the returns to the employer are significant. The study concluded that:
- The costs of Apprenticeship training is recouped relatively quickly,
- Apprentices provide a pool of skilled people to select from for future promotion,
- Apprentices are seen as loyal, more likely to stay with the company and steeped in company values, and Businesses across the country are increasingly realising the enormous benefits that Apprenticeships bring:
- a highly skilled workforce: 83% of employers who employ apprentices rely on their Apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers that they need for the future.
- boost productivity, profitability, efficiency and staff retention: 80% of those who employ apprentices agree that they make the workplace more productive.
- provide a loyal and hardworking workforce that help businesses grow: 88% of employers who employ apprentices believe that Apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
- provide credibility: 81% of consumers would prefer to use a company that employs apprentices
- bring new ideas and innovation to your business.
Karen says, “Apprenticeships are no longer the domain of just the young; Apprenticeships are available to all ages, both new and existing employees. They play a critical role in the development of advanced skills and they provide both a route into employment for young people and a great opportunity boost to the productivity of existing employees. They provide real, measurable business benefits for employers and they support productive, enthusiastic and loyal people into your organisation, demonstrating your commitment to a skilled workforce to your customers and suppliers”.
Karen continues, “The National Apprenticeship Service in the West Midlands is focussed on working with a network of quality-assured providers and employers in the region to help them introduce apprentices into and across their business, and helping them to convert existing staff into apprentices. We also contribute towards the costs of the training and qualifications within the recognised programme. An Apprenticeship provides a perfect combination of off and on-the-job training working to nationally recognised qualifications. ”
For young people an Apprenticeship ensures that they get a good start in developing real skills. In 2009 there were over 240,000 apprentices who began their careers on the programme.