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One of the biggest mistakes that employers can make when considering their long-term workforce manning levels is to overlook the prospect of taking on an apprentice or multiple apprentices.

Employing apprentices is too often seen as a luxury that only the biggest companies can afford, but that supposition is entirely wrong.  Government help can and will be offered to employers, especially to smaller companies, to supplement the cost of employing and training young apprentices whether they’re new to your company or whether they’re an existing employee who has shown the potential to move into new realms of the business.

A great place to start when considering just why an apprentice would be a valuable move for your company would be right here:

https://www.gov.uk/take-on-an-apprentice/employer-grants-apprentices

But why should you hire an apprentice?

It’s all very well for us here at apprentice.tv to be righteous about the merits of taking on apprentices, but as a business owner or hiring level manager you’ll be asking yourself ‘why should I bother when I can advertise for experience?’

The reasons are multi-faceted, and would take a lengthy piece of writing to explain, but in essence the following reasons are the most relevant to justify the outlay:

  • Apprentices aren’t overly expensive and are generally subsidised by the government
  • Apprenticeships can be one year to five years, giving your company the opportunity to tailor the length of training to the technicalities of your needs
  • Upon completing their training, and if you decide to retain the skills, qualified apprentices are likely to go on to be a key part of your organisation and are less likely to leave
  • Taking on an apprentice means that you can mould your employee from a young age to buy into the values and ways of your company

Given that there are very few negatives to hiring an apprentice we could go on with a much more extensive list, but instead of having you read through all the endless reasons we’d encourage you to sift closely through this site for more information on hiring apprentices from both sides of the coin.  What we tend to find is that many employers aren’t fully aware of the benefits of training, educating, and getting the best out of the youth of today.

Making the first move towards hiring an apprentice

So the decision is made, the management team is on-board, and an apprentice or team of apprentices is what your business wants, but… where do you even start?

There are multiple ways to approach the hiring of an apprentice, and the method is entirely down to the peculiarities of your organisation, but the most important aspect of specifying what type of person you want is that it is a mix of realism and aspiration.

Take the time to get yourself a well-written job specification that can go in a local newspaper, an on-line jobs forum, or even the national press if your organisation can justify it.  There are literally thousands of talented people out there, young and old, and you want the best, obviously.  But… competition is fierce for the best.

If you find yourself struggling to create eye-catching job-specific adverts, fret not, because here at apprentice.tv we will be happy to help you create your job profiles and adverts and they’ll all be written by people who have the experience of passing through youth and adult apprenticeships.  Our contact details are right here:

CONTACT FORM

Interviewing and selecting apprentices

Now, this part is the most crucial.  Bearing in mind that over 90% of the time you’ll be interviewing a youth with close to no work experience, finding questions that are relevant can be incredibly difficult.  We’d suggest that a fair amount of time is spent dealing with the sensitivities of interviewing an apprentice, as being insensitive could shatter their hopes and dreams.

Whilst many current interview techniques are based around the ‘competency based interview’, the results of such an approach with a youth may be misleading as their prior competencies are justifiably limited.

Instead, we’d encourage potential employers who are seeking the best apprentices to take a more personal approach instead.  Find out how their schooling went, ask about their personal interests that are associated with your newly created job profile, probe their basic knowledge of the educational aspects that relate to your new apprentice job, try to find out if they’d be interested in further education and study, and look out for a great attitude that is perhaps masked by the clumsiness of youth.

With the right approach, a showpiece role profile, and government funding, any sane employer would have to ask themselves just why they wouldn’t take on apprentices!