Many of our clients ask, how will my firm benefit from an apprentice?
The Government has promised 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020, funded by the recently introduced apprenticeship levy.
Employers today are waking up to the benefits of apprenticeships. This can either be employing a new member of staff as an apprentice or encouraging an existing employee to further their career by taking an apprenticeship.
How the funding works
If you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you will have been paying the 0.5 % apprenticeship levy from 6 April this year. Firms subject to the levy will receive a £15,000 annual allowance, to be offset against the bill. This effectively means that employers with an annual pay bill of £3m or less pay no levy.
Firms not paying the levy, who offer apprenticeships to 16 to 18 year olds, will receive 100 per cent of the cost of the training from the Government. Employers will have to pay 10 per cent of the cost of the apprenticeship training for those aged 19 and over and the Government will pay the remaining 90 per cent, up to the maximum funding bands.
For non-levy businesses with less than 50 employees there will also be a new £1000 incentive towards apprenticeships for taking on someone aged 16 to18.
Details of the workings of the apprentice levy can be found here.
With all the focus on the funding the question moves on to ‘will my firm benefit from an apprentice?’
Benefits of apprenticeships:
Apprenticeships provide skilled workers for the future
Apprenticeship training helps employees to improve their skills, which will benefit the firm in the long term.
An apprenticeship will also ensure that the skills developed are matched to the firm’s future needs. This will help fill any skills gaps and allow the business to source future managers and leaders from within.
Apprenticeships increase staff loyalty and retention
Employees who have been trained in-house tend to be highly motivated, committed to the firm and supportive of its objectives.
An apprenticeship encourages employees to think of their job as a career and to stay with the firm for longer, which reduces recruitment costs. Offering an apprenticeship to an existing member of staff shows that you see them as an integral part of the workforce and are happy to invest in their future.
Apprenticeships increase a company’s bottom line
Investing in staff trained through apprenticeships has a positive effect on a firm’s finances, making it more competitive.
Furthermore, as companies receive funding for each apprentice they take on, it means they don’t have to spend as much to recruit new staff.
Apprenticeships free up existing staff time
As a firm grows, staff often find their time is taken up by smaller tasks when they should be concentrating on their key areas of work. Delegating basic jobs to an apprentice allows them to learn and take responsibility. Freeing up the time of your more experienced staff.
Apprentices can revitalise a company
Apprentices often bring a fresh approach and a positive attitude into the workplace. Which can have a knock-on effect on existing staff. By embarking on an apprenticeship, they are showing themselves to be willing to learn and can bring new ideas into the company.
As apprentices come from a range of backgrounds – including high-calibre candidates who do not want the costs of going to university – they can bring fresh insight into your business activities.
In conclusion, a firm that is willing to benefit from an apprentice is showing a positive approach to Corporate Social Responsibility, which is good for attracting both customers and future high-quality staff.