Is it time that all businesses took a second look at apprenticeship opportunities?
Apprenticeships are incredibly flexible. You can use them to hire and train new staff, or you can use them to retrain existing staff so they can transfer to other areas of your business; for example someone who currently works in HR maybe interested in finance. You can also use an apprenticeship to upskill team members, from a Commis Chef to a Chef de partie for instance.
Training received one day, impacts your business the next.
As well as improved knowledge and skills, other benefits include reduced recruitment costs, higher levels of loyalty and enhanced job satisfaction.
Meet 18 year-old Harrison Neave who is an apprentice at Osiris IT, an IT Managed Service Provider based in Norwich.
Harrison came to Osiris straight out of school and has been with the company for just over two years. “I have been on a Level 3 apprenticeship which is an equivalent of A levels and I’m now about to enrol on a degree course, a Digital and Technology Solutions BSc (Hons) course via the University of Roehampton.
“I like the fact I am gaining industry-recognised qualifications at the same time as getting valuable experience without the debt from university. It’s nice to network, chat, and communicate with other apprentices and see how other organisations work compared to ours.
“If I hadn’t taken an apprenticeship, I wouldn’t be where I am today and wouldn’t have had as many brilliant opportunities.”
Incentives for employers
If you’re quick, the government has made a raft of incentives available to employers to encourage businesses to implement apprenticeship schemes.
You can also take advantage of the Apprenticeship’s Norfolk ‘Recruit Retain Reward’ scheme, which sees each business being paid a golden hello grant of £1,000 once your new apprentice has passed their initial three month probation period. The money can be used towards the cost of the apprentice’s equipment, travel expenses for the apprentice to attend training, or towards operational costs for recruiting and getting your apprentice up to speed.
If you’re not sure about where to start with an apprenticeship scheme, or don’t know if it would work for your business, Apprenticeships Norfolk offers all employers free, impartial advice.
The new Insight Apprentice programme, which is part-funded by the European Social Fund, is available to support your business as you take on an apprentice. It provides a tailored package of support to help you embed the right approach to apprenticeships in your company, meaning you can be confident you’ve hired the right apprentice for the right job, at the right time for your business.
Phillip Roffe, Managing Director of Osiris IT said: “The apprenticeship scheme is perfect for a small business like mine, and it’s allowed us to invest in people which we could never have afforded to do. Through training your staff, you create opportunities for them and the business, bringing back ideas and philosophies. But most importantly when people feel valued they don’t leave.”
More information and contact details for the team are available at apprenticeshipsnorfolk.org
All photos taken by Julian Claxton A