Ten ways in which apprentices can boost your business

Wed, March 22nd, 2017

Employing an apprentice offers benefits to business of all sizes

Many businesses across the Liverpool City Region employ apprentices - they can offer huge benefits to firms of all sizes.

Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce, one of the biggest suppliers of apprentices in Merseyside, currently has more than 300 trainees placed with 180 businesses.

Paul Cherpeau, Director of Learning and Skills at the Chamber, is keen to grow this number beyond 400 over the next 12 months.

“It is going to take a lot of work, a lot of effort and a lot of co-operation with local employers who we want to invest in young people,” said Paul.

Over the last few years, the Chamber has partnered with many city region businesses to provide apprentices, with great results. Here, Paul offers eight reasons why taking on an apprentice can provide a boost to your business:

1. Filling the gap

The UK is currently facing a chronic skills shortage. Taking someone on and training them is a cost-effective way of making sure you have exactly the skills you need.

Steven Hesketh, general manager at Liverpool’s Richmond Hotel says that taking on an apprentice gave him access to invaluable multilingual skills.

Beata, 29 took on an apprenticeship role through the Chamber of Commerce and became responsible for the management of the hotel’s team of 15 housekeeping staff members.

Steven says: “Beata’s multilingualism has been a massive advantage to us. At the Richmond Hotel we are proud of our diverse workforce. With staff from across the globe all working under one roof this could often lead to communication barriers but Beata helps us to more effectively support all our staff.”

2. Flexibility

A young trainee is far less likely to be set in his or her ways or come to the job with bad habits. You have the opportunity to mould them to make sure they fit perfectly into your organisation.

3. Practical

Most of the learning is done ‘on the job’ so disruption during the training period is kept to a minimum.

4. Cost effective

Hundreds of thousands of businesses across the UK offer apprenticeship placements because they
recognise that they can have a massive impact on productivity, improving business performance and
encouraging a more committed and competent workforce.

What many businesses don’t realise is that employing apprentices can also be hugely cost effective. Research from Learn Direct showed an apprentice can increase your productivity by around £214 a week.

5. Reputation

Customers are attracted to businesses with higher ethical standards. Taking on an apprentice demonstrates a commitment to benefiting local communities,

6. Staff turnover

Research from Skills Training UK showed that 80% of firms who took on apprentices reported a significant increase in employee retention.

7. Future potential

You could be taking someone on who could one day run your business. Stacey Seary joined Liverpool-based Wild Thang as an apprentice 10 years ago and is now a key member of its management team.

Having started on reception, with the help of both the chamber and Wild Thang, Stacey has since successfully completed NVQs in business administration and business management to level 4.

“The people who helped me were amazing and every single day I feel like I am learning something new,” she says.

The £2m-turnover business was founded 20 years ago by Andrew Dwerryhouse with a £1,500 grant from the Princes Trust and it now employs 32 people.

Through Liverpool and Sefton Chambers, Wild Thang has taken on around 10 young trainees one the past 10 years. Andrew says the input from those young people has been key to its success.

8. Ongoing development

Progress doesn’t stop after a young person has completed their initial period of training. Further training and qualifications can be provided through the apprenticeship system.

9. Ideas

Young people can provide and fresh innovative way of looking at your business and helping you grow by developing new processes.

10. Technology

Young people are adept at using and adapting new technology - a vital skill in an increasingly digital world.

Liverpool Chamber Training is preparing employers for the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and wider reforms to the recruitment and training of young people and employees on to apprenticeship qualifications.

A series of briefing sessions are scheduled for local businesses to attend and increase the knowledge and understanding about how they can benefit from the new reforms which commence in May.

Book your place on the next session by contacting the Chamber on 0151 227 1234.

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