Apprenticeships can help businesses across all sectors by offering a route to harness fresh new talent. UK businesses consider skills shortages and recruitment difficulties a bigger threat to performance than soaring oil prices and declining consumer spending, and more than a quarter of these rate this form of vocational training higher than any other qualification.
Apprenticeships ensure that your workforce has the practical skills and qualifications your organisation needs now and in the future. The mixture of on and off job learning ensures they learn the skills that work best for your business. Over 130,000 companies offer apprentice places because they understand the benefits that apprentices bring to their business – increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a committed and competent work-force.
Improve your productivity
Because apprentices receive relevant training, they can have an immediate effect and make a real and more meaningful contribution to your business. Their training is ‘on the job’, so they can directly gain from the skills and experience of those around them.
Motivate your workforce
Apprenticeships are available to both new and current employees. As a result of their training, apprentices are highly motivated and eager to know more. The extra responsibility also makes them feel more valued and they are easier to retain in the long term.
Give them relevant training
Apprenticeships provide your workforce with expertise that’s not only specific to your industry, but also directly relevant to your business. They are literally designed around your business needs by industry specialists who genuinely understand what you do.
Avoid skills shortages
Change and innovation are always with us. New advances are constantly challenging us to keep pace or catch up. Apprenticeships can help your workforce master the latest techniques to fill the skills gaps you have and insure against those that are likely to arise. By taking on apprentices, you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.
Research recently conducted on behalf of the LSC (Populus. February 2008) to launch the first National Apprenticeship Week revealed:
- 77% of employers believe apprenticeships make them more competitive;
- 76% say that apprenticeships provide higher overall productivity;
- 80% feel that apprenticeships reduce staff turnover;
- 83% of employers rely on their apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers that they need for the future;
- Two-thirds of respondents believe that their apprenticeship programme helps them fill vacancies more quickly, whilst 88% believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
- 59% report that training apprentices is more cost-effective than hiring skilled staff, with 59% believing that apprenticeships lead to lower overall training costs and 53% feeling that they reduce recruitment costs;
- In terms of the return on investment linked to apprenticeships, 41% say that their apprentices make a valuable contribution to the business during their training period, while a further third (33%) report that apprentices add value within their first few weeks (or even from Day One);
- 57% report a high proportion of their apprentices going on to management positions within the company.
- Over three-quarters of respondents expect apprenticeships to play a bigger part in their recruitment policy in the future.