National Apprenticeship Week 2016 is nearly upon us! Running from the 14th to the 18th March, the scheme celebrates the positive impact that apprentices have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
“The key themes for National Apprenticeship Week 2016 are: “An apprenticeship can take you anywhere”, with a particular focus on higher skills to show how young people, entrepreneurs and businesses can “rise to the top” through traineeships and apprenticeships.”
Over 250,000 UK workplaces currently employ apprentices, covering an extensive range of skills levels and occupations. There are many benefits to your business of employing an apprentice, such as:
- Apprenticeships boost productivity to businesses by on average £214 per week.
- Employers say that qualified apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications.
- 89% of employers reported that apprenticeships helped their business improve the quality of their product or service.
- According to research published in June 2015, apprenticeships at Level 2 and Level 3 deliver £26 and £28 of economic benefits respectively for each pound of government investment.
- 82% of employers say they are satisfied with the apprenticeship programme and 70% report that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service.
- Apprenticeships enable businesses to grow their skills base resulting in increased profits, lower prices and better products.
- Traineeships offer small businesses an opportunity to help build a pool of high-quality future recruits for their sector.
- Improved productivity and morale in the workplace, citing the enthusiasm and youthful approach.
An apprentice holds a basic role within a company, and while they can be any age, they tend to be between 16 and 25. They are given the chance to receive training and study whilst also learning on the job – and will therefore often be paid less than the minimum wage.
Apprenticeships are seen more as a long-term investment in an individual rather than an opportunity for cheap labour. Hiring an experienced employee may give immediate returns, but training someone from the very beginning allows you to mould them to the exact needs of your business.
Modern apprenticeships are available in pretty much any field, and are a fantastic way to invest in the future of your business.
National Apprenticeship Week 2016 has designed a way to record the commitments UK businesses make to take on apprentices and trainees, and encourages employers to publicly share their new commitments. It’s called the Pledge-o-meter and you can find it here.
Last year businesses pledged 23,000 apprenticeships during National Apprenticeship Week, an increase from 20,000 the previous year. This year, NAW is hoping to encourage even more businesses to share their pledges, so there’s no better time to jump on board.
For more information on National Apprenticeship Week, and steps your small business can take to get involved, take a look at this handy GOV Toolkit.
Further tools and templates can be found here.