Following GSCE results this summer, we were very interested to read this article on apprenticeships: https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2016/aug/29/schools-out-gcse-results-hire-apprentice-business

According to The Guardian, apprenticeship schemes are becoming an increasingly popular way for young people to enter the working world, allowing them to learn a trade and gain valuable on-the-job experience whilst earning a wage.

Over the past two years, a growing number of post students have pursued apprenticeships – in the academic year 2014-2015, the number of under 19s starting an apprenticeship increased by 5.1% on the previous year. And in 2013-2014 the number increased by 4.6%.

Initially there may be concerns that employing an apprentice might affect overall staff performance. There is a perception that during the period of time taken to train the apprentice, your work force will decrease – if the business has 6 employees including an apprentice, this effectively decreases to 4 as the ‘trainer’ gets pulled away from other work and the apprentice isn’t up to speed.

Short term, pressure may be put on your business, however long term the benefits definitely outweigh any concerns.

Did you know that small businesses with less than 50 employees can benefit from taking on a 16-18 year old apprentice in a number of ways? For example,

  • Incentive – a cash incentive of £1,000 per apprentice will be rewarded to the business
  • Training savings – the business will not have to pay anything towards their training and courses for the job role
  • A committed workforce – one of the biggest benefits of running an apprenticeship scheme is that it helps create a dedicated, loyal workforce. The majority of apprentices are young school or college leavers, meaning that they have lots of energy to learn the ways of your business
  • A fresh perspective – apprentices may not have any actual workplace experience, but they can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas, which are just as valuable to a growing business
  • Improving the bottom line – the cost of funding an apprentice may put some employers off, but in reality apprentices often pay for themselves within a few years and can improve a company’s bottom line by boosting productivity and making companies more effective. The initial expense of hiring an apprentice is often smaller than many companies think, thanks to government funding and the fact that they are paid a reduced wage

According to The Guardian, the government have pledged to create an apprenticeship investment calculator for its apprenticeship website, allowing small businesses to understand what the potential costs and benefits might be. Watch out for future developments!
We found an interesting link for local apprenticeship information in Oxfordshire head over to: http://www.oxfordshireapprenticeships.co.uk/