There was no better time for a reminder of the positive impact apprenticeships have than during National Apprenticeship Week.
More than 250,000 workplaces across England currently offer apprenticeship programmes, and the benefits to businesses are vast.
Statistics from a report by the National Apprenticeship Service show 75 per cent of employers say an apprenticeship programme has helped slash recruitment costs, while 89 per cent say apprentices help make their business more productive.
An apprenticeship is a valuable tool to allow employers to identify and respond to existing skills shortages, in turn helping to bridge the skills gap. As a result, efficiencies are improved and growth is enabled, something especially vital for small businesses.
There’s also the added benefit that an apprentice can provide a fresh perspective and be flexible in order to adapt to fit the needs of a business.
If you’re looking for a candidate with a particular skillset but struggling to recruit the right person, taking on an apprentice is an ideal way to nurture new talent and shape them into the right fit for your business, ultimately leading to the development of a well-rounded and committed workforce.
One of the latest sector developments is the introduction of the Trailblazers scheme, which is helping employers take more control of the way apprenticeship programmes are designed, implemented and delivered, therefore increasing overall standards to benefit everyone.
There’s also the announcement of the proposed apprenticeship levy to consider, which will come into force in April 2017, meaning businesses with a wage bill of more than £3m will pay a levy of 0.5 per cent of their payroll to help fund apprenticeships across the UK.
Employers across the country now await further details on how exactly the system will work, but prior planning is crucial. The best thing to do is consult a training provider on what to do next, to ensure you’re equipped with the necessary resources in good time.