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Can apprentices help with your skills shortage?

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Can apprentices help with your skills shortage?

Many UK businesses are having problems with recruitment as the number of job vacancies has soared over the last 12 months.

Key staff are also being enticed away by better offers from competitors. It’s a dilemma for SMEs, but also an opportunity to take on staff as apprentices, which could be mutually advantageous.

It’s cost-effective, and apprentices learn skills on the job, gain nationally-recognised qualifications and earn a salary. New and enthusiastic, they can improve productivity.

Starting as an apprentice is a great way for those with less experience in the industry to get their foot in the door.

Learning and developing skills on the job

If a business has a skills gap, taking on an apprentice allows the newcomer to be trained in specific areas from day one.

There are currently over 550 apprenticeship standards to choose from.

Costs saving with Government help

While in the past, apprenticeships may have been looked at as a way of hiring cheap labour, apprentices are protected by law and have the same rights as other employees, including working hours and rest breaks.

Employers are also able to access funding and grants to cover the costs. The ‘apprentice rate’ is lower than other rates, but paid only in the first year.

There is a £1,000 payment available to employers for apprentices who, at the start of their apprenticeship, are:

Most apprenticeship training costs are either fully or partially (95 per cent) funded by the Government, depending on business size and eligibility.

Long term job stability

Figures show that 90 per cent of apprentices stay on after completing their course to become full members of the team.

The skills they have learned can also be passed on to other members of the team.

Need help and advice on related matters? Contact our team today.


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