Apprenticeships create a win-win situation for everyone. Apprentices get the opportunity to learn skills on the job, gain nationally-recognised qualifications and earn a salary. As a small business, you benefit from a talent pool of enthusiastic individuals who can become valuable members of the working team.
Here are six benefits of hiring an apprentice as a small business.
Develop new skills
As a business owner, you know what skills your team needs to support and grow your business. If you’ve spotted skill gaps or areas of potential, you can use an apprenticeship scheme to train up new employees in these areas from day one.
There are currently over 550 apprenticeship standards to choose from, so you’ll be able to find one that fits your business aims and objectives.
Save on costs
Hiring an apprentice is a cost-effective way to support the development of new skills and talent in your business, with many employers able to access funding and grants to cover the costs. The ‘apprentice rate’ is lower than other rates, but paid only in the first year. Apprenticeships should last at least 12 months.
As part of the government’s plan to kickstart economic recovery, employers are being given an incentive of £2,000 if they hire an apprentice aged 16-24 and £1,500 for new apprentices aged above 25 between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021. You can apply for the payment until 30 April 2021.
This will be in addition to the existing £1,000 payment to employers for apprentices who, at the start of their apprenticeship, are:
- between 16 and 18 years old
- between 19 and 24 years old and has an Education, Health and Care plan
Depending on your business size and eligibility, most apprenticeship training costs are either fully or partially (95%) funded by the government, helping you to upskill your team on a budget.
You can read our guide to apprenticeship funding to learn more.
A staggering 78% of employers reported improved productivity after introducing an apprenticeship scheme. Apprentices are eager to learn from you and your team and enthusiastic about their qualification they’ve chosen.
Supporting their growth in turn supports your business, and you get an extra pair of hands to help out when it gets busy! Your apprentice will learn from your experienced team and will be able to apply the valuable skills they’ve gained through their training.
Starting as an apprentice is a great way for those with less experience in the industry to get their foot in the door.
If there’s an opportunity, many apprentices at their company after earning their qualification, become fully-fledged team members! In fact, 90% of apprentices stay at their company after completing their course. Plus, there’s the added bonus of them already being familiar with your business.
Diversify your team
An apprentice can bring new perspectives to your business, especially if they are younger and familiar with new technologies; or if they are older and have a wealth of relevant skills and experience to offer.
Whether they’re a school leaver or someone looking to change their career path, it’s a fantastic way to add new talent to your team.
With an apprenticeship scheme, you can expand your business with new skills and training opportunities. It’s a cost-effective way for you to bring extra resources into your business and provide training opportunities to your local community.
Tailored to you
Apprenticeships have come a long way in recent years! These days, there is a wide range of apprenticeships your business can take advantage of, from finance and digital marketing to manufacturing and software engineering.
Training someone up from a beginner means you’ll be able to shape them to fit your business. You’ll be able to choose a provider and apprenticeship standard that best meets your business needs.
Where can I get more information?
Whether you’re looking to expand a department or you could use some additional support, you can find an apprenticeship online to see what’s on offer.
Ready to hire an apprentice?
Get answers to your employment questions 24/7 with our employment advice line. FSB members can also visit FSB Legal Hub, home to all the employment documents, letters, templates and fact sheets your business needs.