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Jigsaw Training news & blog

Blog: Busting the apprenticeship myths

6/5/2016

Although the benefits of apprenticeships are widely known, there are also several misconceptions which may put people off. Here’s the truth behind some of the common myths:

  • ‘You’re better off going to university’

While there is no denying that completing a degree course at university is the right path for some, an apprenticeship can also provide the perfect alternative learning and development opportunity for many. It’s a chance to earn as you learn, without accruing the student debt, and the added bonus is you don’t need any prior qualifications to be accepted onto an apprenticeship course.

  • ‘Apprenticeships don’t lead to employment’

Government statistics suggest otherwise. In fact, after completing an apprenticeship, approximately 90 per cent of people stay in employment, with 71 per cent staying with the same employer. Furthermore, a quarter of former apprentices received a promotion within 12 months, with three quarters taking on more responsibility within their role.

  • ‘Apprentices work for free’

Not the case – the current minimum wage rate for an apprentice aged 16 to 18 is £3.30 per hour, and more depending on the national minimum wage for the age category you fall into, with higher potential earning as you progress. As an apprentice, you’re also entitled to 20 days holiday a year as well as the usual bank holidays.

  • ‘There aren’t many courses to choose from’

 Apprenticeship courses are available in around 1,500 roles across more than 170 industries, from education, media, engineering and healthcare, to leisure, retail, construction and law, a diverse range of options to choose from.

  • ‘Existing employees can’t undertake an apprenticeship’

This is one myth which we can categorically bust, because you can complete an apprenticeship even if you’re already in work. It’s the perfect way to learn new skills, which can also lead to vast benefits for the employer, including a more skilled workforce and opportunity for business growth.

Blog: How can businesses benefit from apprenticeships?

29/3/2016

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.

James Blackhurst

Managing Director

Jigsaw Training

Apprenticeship success: Lynette Coombs

18/3/2016

Lynette

For Lynette, an apprenticeship wasn’t just an opportunity to progress in her career, it was the perfect opportunity for personal development.  Starting as a cleaner, with various reception and maintenance duties, Lynette is now a confident and ambitious Account Manager at Mitie.

Through the apprenticeship in Facilities Management level 3, implemented and delivered by Jigsaw Training, Lynette has been able to gain a wider insight into Mite, while also boosting her confidence both professionally and personally.

Lynette now enjoys a challenging and varied role and has set her sights on more progression, with plans to grow into a more senior Operations Management role as the next step in her career.

Lynette is very proud to have been an apprentice and a true champion of its benefits. She says: “I have found the apprenticeship has helped me understand the facilities management sector in more depth, and I’m now able to pass my knowledge onto others in a way that really helps them to understand the processes.”

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