Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Great Apprenticeships – thoughts to consider

Following last week’s National Apprenticeship Week events, it’s time to evaluate what has happened and find out what still needs to happen. If we’re to make this year’s “great apprenticeships” theme come alive, we’ll need to raise nationwide awareness of apprenticeship schemes.

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

From an employer’s perspective apprenticeships offer great opportunities to employ passionate young talent and train them, so that their skills perfectly fit the business’ needs and goals. Viewing it from an apprentice’s perspective, schemes present fantastic opportunities to learn on the job and gain real-life experience, while also earning money.

With the increased tuition fees, university learning has become less available (affordable) to many young people. However, this is not necessarily bad, because three or four years of theory-based learning is not for everyone, especially when it comes to practical professions, like engineering or computer sciences.

According to employers regularly “educate themselves out” of great jobs, because they feel compelled to go to university just to have a degree in something. Guess what, there are apprenticeships that actually offer degree level education, whilst learning on the job.

Custom skills for custom needs

Not only are apprentices easier and cheaper to recruit, but their skills can be tailor-made for a specific role or business. Training an apprentice to fit the organisation will also make them more committed and loyal.

Employers need to act fast to get the best

According to Kate Russell, MD of Russell HR Consulting “there is a big pool of talent available nearing the end of A-Level or equivalent, many of whom will be concerned about higher education and what they should do next.

Given how early the nightmarish UCAS process starts, employers who get in early by going into schools and colleges throughout the two "further education" years to advertise the kind of people they’re looking for and what they have to offer, will get the best pick.

Business needs good people and employers have to work hard to get them. Learning on the job suits a lot of people, and with a structured training/work programme both employer and apprentice could well benefit equally well from the arrangement.”

If you're interested about apprenticeships, find out more by visiting Firebrand Apprenticeships.