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.
Changes to Apprenticeships
The changes to the way that apprenticeships are funded and managed came into effect in April 2017.
We have produced a comprehensive guide to these changes and what they may mean for your business.
The way the Government funds apprenticeships in England changed in 2017. Some employers are now required to contribute to an apprenticeship levy, and there have been 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 per 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 works and what its key principles are.
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.