As a business leader you may be looking for opportunities to bring new skills into the organisation and improve learning and development. Hiring an apprentice or upskilling existing staff is becoming a popular way to do this. There are many benefits to hiring an apprentice, but it may be uncharted territory for many organisations. To make this process easier for everyone involved, we’ve answered your most frequently asked questions around hiring an apprentice.

What are the benefits of hiring an apprentice?

Hiring an apprentice is a win-win strategy that contributes to both individual development and organisational excellence. Below, we’ve outlined some of the key benefits:

1. You can adapt the training to cater to your organisation’s needs. 

2. Apprentices are motivated to make a difference to your business.

3. You can upskill your existing workforce to improve productivity.

4. It can reduce recruitment costs, making it a cost-effective hiring plan.

How do apprentices add value to businesses?

There are many ways an apprentice can add value to a business, such as injecting fresh talent, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn into the workforce. 

They can help bridge skills gaps and be trained in a way that will meet an organisation’s  specific needs. Through hands-on training and mentorship, apprentices can quickly become skilled and knowledgeable contributors. 

Their commitment often leads to long-term retention, reducing recruitment costs in the future. By the time their apprenticeship is complete they will know the business inside and out. This gives you the perfect opportunity to hire them long term and secure their skill set for your business. 

Can a small business hire an apprentice?

Yes, a small business can certainly hire an apprentice and doing so comes with a number of benefits, such as:

Developing new skills – As a business owner you will spot gaps in the business where training is required or areas you are looking to grow in. You can use an apprenticeship to fill these gaps, training new or existing employees in these areas to benefit your long term plans.

Improve productivity – The Government has found that ‘78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity’. New apprentices are often eager to get a foot in the industry and learn as much as possible while giving your existing staff a helping hand.

A new outlook – Bringing a new set of eyes into the business can provide a fresh perspective on what you could be doing to improve your working environment.

If you’re a small business looking to hire an apprentice but need financial help, take a look at the apprenticeship Levy.  Keep reading to find out more about this. 

Can a school or multi academy trust hire an apprentice?

Schools and multi academy trusts can use apprenticeships as a great way to develop existing staff members or there is the option to hire new talent to strengthen the workforce. Apprenticeships are for existing employees as well as new recruits. Up-skilling your staff should support the individual to acquire substantive new skills meaning the training needs to be different from any prior qualification they may have.

An example of apprenticeships that are beneficial to up-skill your existing school staff is the ‘Higher Level Teaching Assistant’ which is a natural next step for teaching assistant staff looking to develop their career further. Teaching assistants can also develop to a SEN Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Specialist Support Assistant and Support for Specialist Curriculum Areas.

To hire an apprentice for your school or academy trust or to up-skill existing staff, simply find an organisation that provides the training, look at your funds and then your chosen training organisation can guide you on the next steps.

Will this benefit my existing staff?

Simply put, yes! Bringing on an apprentice can lessen the workload of your existing staff as well as bring fresh ideas.

However, you can also use the apprenticeship Levy to develop the skills of your existing staff.

Businesses with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million all pay into the apprenticeship Levy scheme introduced by the Government. All businesses can then take advantage of this combined pot to finance training for their staff. This means you can access workplace training for a fraction of the price, training new or existing staff. Once you receive the funds they will expire after 2 years, so make sure you use them while you can. 

How to hire an apprentice

It is easier than you may think to hire an apprentice. Here at LMP we are an award-winning apprenticeship training provider, working with organisations, schools, colleges, MATs and SMEs across the country. We have years of experience recruiting apprentices for businesses and can also help to develop your existing staff. Simply contact us and we can discuss your requirements to make the process as simple as possible for your organisation or school.