Thinking about hiring an apprentice? Here’s 3 reasons why you should

National Apprenticeship Week is coming up (7th - 13th February), offering an opportunity to recognise the important role apprentices play in helping businesses grow and their potential to address skills shortages in the UK. There are currently 2100 apprenticeships available in West Yorkshire alone, with 6300 businesses having hosted an apprentice in the 2020/21 academic year.

Skills for Growth is a free initiative designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in West Yorkshire, Harrogate, York, Craven and Selby find emerging talent from local schools, colleges and universities to build talent pipelines, increase productivity, help young talent thrive and close skills gaps across the region.  

Businesses benefit from the close relationship Skills for Growth has developed with local educators because they’re offered handpicked candidates that come with a personal reference. 

Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, we’ve pulled together three reasons why you should consider hiring apprentices to help you build talent pipelines, increase productivity, help young talent thrive and close skills gaps across the region: 

1. Hiring apprentices can help you fill junior positions  

Nurture future employees fit for your business  

Businesses recruiting to fill entry-level roles can often run into the same challenge - finding candidates who are work ready and equipped to comfortably deal with the day-to-day operations.  

86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation. This is because taking on an apprentice gives them exposure to the world of work, and specifically the world of your work. Inexperienced young people entering the job market can learn day to day skills specific to your business that can’t be taught in a classroom, such as work behaviour and talking to clients. Plus, it saves on recruitment costs because you already have a capable candidate you can promote through your ranks. 

2. Apprentices can revitalise a business 

Fresh faces and fresh ideas for a progressive company culture  

Hiring new talent through an apprenticeship programme is a brilliant way to introduce new ideas to the business. Young people starting their careers are often motivated and eager to learn and bring with them innovative ways of thinking. This can have a positive impact on the rest of your team.  

Additionally, having a fresh perspective can help define new efficient ways of working which can increase productivity and revitalise company culture whilst being cost effective and providing development opportunities for other team members.  

3. You can improve retention rates by hiring apprentices 

Cultivate a satisfied and fulfilled workforce 

Apprenticeship programmes provide young people with a clear pathway into a specific career, which is indispensable in the job market and is usually accompanied with significant support from a mentor in the business. As employers invest time in apprentices, it can offer them structured career progression and build with it confidence that can improve their job satisfaction.  

In return, motivated by the fact most apprentices will achieve valuable skills and work experience by the end of the programme, it can encourage loyalty to the business, meaning apprentices are more likely to be committed to staying with your business and growing along with it.   

If you’re a business on the lookout for your next superstar apprentice, Skills for Growth can help by connecting you to local schools, colleges and universities.    

Sir Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and NP11 group of Northern local enterprise partnerships said: 

“Skills for Growth is a fantastic programme to help you take on apprentices. With direct links to schools, colleges and universities, we’re able to find the perfect apprentice with the right attributes and soft skills you’re looking for. 

Apprentices can bring fresh ideas, motivation and enthusiasm and can learn the skills specifically needed by businesses. We’ve seen some real successes over the years, it’s no wonder 86% of employers2 said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation.” 

To learn more about how your business could benefit from an apprenticeship or the Skills for Growth programme, visit the-lep.com/skillsforgrowth to arrange a call with your local Business Partnership Adviser.