Our very own, Sarah Cripps is gracing the pages of Niche magazine with some top tips for employing a young apprentice.
It is so important to us to help young people find a career through apprenticeships. To help make this happen, employers need to fully understand how to support their young apprentice to get the best results for everyone.
We have seen a 40% growth in businesses using our specialised apprenticeship recruitment service, however, there is still some uncertainty about employing an apprentice.
Young people are opting to do an apprenticeship instead of going to college or university so they can ‘earn whilst they learn’. And businesses are investing in new apprentices to help grow their business and kick start someone’s career. The commitment to gaining and offering for
mal accreditation is very encouraging.
Apprenticeships are an amazing programme to invest in for the employer and the young person. However, there is still some uncertainty, myths and non-truths about employing an apprentice.
Here are my top tips for employing a young apprentice:
- If you are just looking to take on cheap labour, an apprentice isn’t the right option. Yes, the salary can be lower than other employees, but you have a greater responsibility for your apprentice than just their wages. Employing an apprentice can be a cost-effective way to grow your business but they will need an investment of time and effort to help them flourish.
- Have an assessment centre day. A formal interview can be very intimidating, whereas in a group assessment centre you will see someone’s personality and potential in a much fairer and more natural and relaxed environment.
- Create a plan so they will always have safe support. If your apprentice is new to the world of work, it will be a steep learning curve for them. In the early days they will need direction, support and care so they feel comfortable. Having a ‘buddy’ and developing a ‘working practices paper’ is something we recommend. State the importance of timekeeping, set parameters on social media protocols and define a dress code. Who’s been your best boss in your career and why? Be that best role model for an apprentice.
- Establish how their targets align with your business. You will be responsible for your apprentice’s practical learning and development. Learning and development works best when it dovetails with the accredited apprenticeship programme and we’re happy to give further advice on this. We can also recommend training providers that have all gone through our due diligence process.
- Map out the future potential of the role so they have an influenceable goal. Make sure your apprentice understands what you expect from their role, how it can develop and where it could lead. Give them enough scope to help shape the future and consider reverse mentoring; what can they teach your organisation?
- Make the transition into work smooth. If this is their first full-time job it is going to be an enormous change for them. You could start them off with a shorter working day for example. Ease them in gently so you can allow them time to grow and bed in.
- Reward and recognition. Always celebrate success, give praise and include your apprentice in everything you do as a business wherever possible. If they feel like a valued member of the team, they will care more about what they do.
Helping to kick start a young person’s career is an amazing thing for social responsibility, them and your business. If you’d like some support with this process, we’re here and ready to help you get the right person and the right programme.