The UK government recently confirmed new reforms to its apprenticeship funding system, making £60 million available to help young people from deprived backgrounds get into an apprenticeship. This comes as part of a nationwide drive to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020.
Under the new legislation, employers with fewer than 50 employees will receive 100% of the cost of training apprentices aged between 16 and 18 years-old. This also applies to businesses that take on 19-24-year-olds who were previously in care, or who have an education or health care plan. Other details revealed include the fact that only businesses with a payroll above £3 million must pay into the Apprenticeship Levy.
All this points to huge financial benefits for plumbing businesses, merchants, and installation companies to take on an apprentice. Putting the financial support on offer to one side, though, what other value can an apprentice add to your business?
John Guest Apprentice Scheme
At John Guest, we run successful graduate and apprenticeship schemes and speak from experience as we countdown our top five reasons to hire an apprentice for your business.
5. Hire People with No Preconceived Ideas about the Workplace
We can probably all admit to that one hire that just didn’t quite work out. The experienced person we appointed to add experience and fresh ideas to the business, but who was stuck in their ways and unwilling to accept our unique way of working. Apprentices do not have this baggage. They can come into your business with no preconceived ideas of how things should be done. Instead, they present the opportunity for you to mould your workforce to your own company ethos, enabling you to cement a strong team work ethic.
4. Inject New Ideas, Enthusiasm, and Energy
Most young people do not embark on apprenticeships for the money, but for the opportunity to build a successful career. They are genuinely enthusiastic about their work and therefore, more likely to suggest fresh ideas and new ways of working, than some people who have worked in the industry for a long time. In many instances, apprentices inject a new energy into the work environment, motivating their colleagues to be even more successful and happy at work. Who can say no to that?
3. Reduce The Training Strain
It may seem counter-intuitive to think that hiring an apprentice can reduce the strain on your training budget but this is actually the case. The national apprenticeship programme has been designed to reduce the amount of staff training that businesses need to provide since apprentices will already be completing modules in key skills which match the job role they are fulfilling, as part of their programme.
2. Improve Your Staff Turnover
Attracting and retaining talent is difficult in the plumbing industry, which is currently experiencing a skills shortage. This makes it even more beneficial to hire an apprentice and train them up in your own unique way. It is often the case that apprentices go on to become full-time employees at a business at the end of their programme, remaining at the company for many years. If you buy into an apprentice and help to develop their professional career, they are likely to buy into your business and remain loyal to you.
1. Inspire The Next Generation of Industry Talent
The previously mentioned skills shortage is showing no signs of going away quickly. However, one way that businesses can help to minimise the risk posed by the potential future lack of skills, is by championing and nurturing fresh talent. By taking on apprentices and helping them to develop their careers, and later sharing their success with the rest of the industry, businesses can begin to inspire young people to pursue a career in plumbing. The more youth and talent that we can start to encourage, the smaller the impact of the skills shortage over a long period.
There’s little question of the value that apprentices can bring to a business like yours, and with the UK government getting behind apprentices, now is the time to take advantage.
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