Apprenticeships are good for business, providing real, measurable benefits for employers.
They bring productive, enthusiastic and loyal people into your organisation and demonstrate to customers and suppliers your commitment to investing in your people.
More than 100,000 employers currently use Apprenticeships, which is no wonder as they have clear benefits for businesses large and small, for young people and for the wider community.
By taking on an apprentice, employers are helping to support youth employment in the county while ensuring their businesses have the skills they need to survive and thrive.
Apprenticeships are not limited to new employees so any member of your current workforce may be eligible to complete an apprenticeship programme.
What is an Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a work-based training programme designed around the needs of employers, which lead to nationally recognised qualifications. You can use apprenticeships to train both new and existing employees.
There are more than 200 different types of apprenticeships available offering over 1,200 job roles within a variety of industry sectors ranging from accountancy and engineering to veterinary nursing and floristry.
What are the benefits to business?
- Improve your bottom line - over 80% of employers who employ apprentices say they make their workplace more productive. Apprenticeships boost productivity to businesses by £214 per week, on average
- Fill your skills gaps - 83% of employers rely on their apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers that they need for the future
- Motivate your workforce - 92% of employers believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce
- Find your next full-time employees – the majority of apprentices (90%) stay in employment and nearly three quarters (71%) stay with the same employer. Most businesses (74%) report that apprentices tend to be more loyal to them, remaining at their company longer than non-apprentices
- Reduce your training and recruitment costs - 59% of employers report that training apprentices is more cost-effective than hiring skilled staff, with 59% believing that apprenticeships lead to lower overall training costs and 53% feeling that they reduce recruitment costs
- Improve your appeal to customers – 81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on apprentices
- Become more competitive in your industry – like the 66% who reported this benefit
- Improve the quality of your products and services - 89% of employers report that apprenticeships helped their business improve the quality of their product or service
Sources: Populus Survey for National Apprenticeship Week; National Apprenticeship Service.
What are the costs?
Apprentices are employees so you will be responsible for paying your apprentices’ wages. A National Minimum Wage (NMW) for apprentices exists and applies to all apprentices aged under 19 and apprentices aged 19 or over in the first year of their apprenticeship. The apprentice minimum wage can be found here and applies to time working and time spent training as part of the apprenticeship. Many employers pay above the NMW wage.
In spring 2017 the way the Government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers.
The apprenticeship levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to make an investment in apprenticeships. You can benefit from this investment by training apprentices. The following link to the Government’s website Apprenticeship levy: how it will work - GOV.UK provides some more detailed information on how the apprenticeship levy will work, from the date it will be introduced on 6th April 2017. The guidance also explains the key principles of the apprenticeship levy and how it will work from 1st May 2017, whether you pay the levy or not.
Help recruiting an apprentice
Just like with any role in your business, recruiting keen young people in to your apprenticeship can be a challenge which is why in Buckinghamshire we have an online platform called WANNABEbucks.org that allows businesses to advertise their apprenticeship vacancies for free. WANNABEbucks.org has a large audience of people in and around Buckinghamshire aged 16-24 who are looking to start their career in an apprenticeship.
To post your apprenticeship vacancy on WANNABE please click here.
What financial support is available?
There is grant funding available to businesses that employ an apprentice, with eligible businesses able to get up to £1,500 per apprentice (up to five apprentices).
Can’t afford to take on an apprentice?
For those that would like to recruit an apprentice but can’t afford the costs involved, an Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA) will hire an apprentice for you, place them with you and take care of payroll and tax. To find out more click here.
Want to know more?
Register interest in employing an apprentice
Search the government website for further details on apprenticeships.