Why apprenticeships work for small businesses

Managing people

6 March 2018

National Apprenticeship Week 2018 runs from the 5 to 9 March, and this year the organisers want to show the many ways apprentices can benefit your business through the theme ‘Apprenticeships Work’.

From contributing to your company, whatever its size and sector, to cementing your place in the community, employing an apprentice can have more impact than you might think.

Boosting employers

According to the Evaluation Employer Survey, 76% of businesses with an apprentice experienced a wide range of benefits. These include improved productivity, increased staff morale and staff retention, as well as generating new ideas.

Individual benefits

One of the big reasons for morale boosts and staff retention is the feeling of doing something worthwhile. And there’s proof that apprentices appreciate it. Some 75% of young apprentices surveyed by the YMCA said that the experience improved their skills and career prospects and 80% would recommend an apprenticeship.

You can harness some publicity from this positivity during National Apprenticeship Week too. Simply share stories from your business on social media using the #WorksForMe hashtag.

Strengthening communities

Businesses that actively train up new staff can become a skills hub and so improve the talent pool in their area. Specific campaigns like the government's ‘5 Cities Project’ also use apprenticeships to target inequality and increase the diversity of apprenticeships, so the impact is larger than you think.

In this spirit of change, this year’s National Apprenticeship week is pushing businesses to take part in 10,000 talks. This target is designed to encourage participants to reach a wider, more diverse talent pool than ever before.

Improving the economy

The training you provide to an apprentice also has the power to improve the entire business ecosystem. A study by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills worked out that every pound invested in training a level 3 apprentice delivers £26 to the wider economy. And that’s great news for business too.

As well as getting involved with National Apprenticeship Week, you can find out more about the process of hiring an apprentice on the dedicated UK government portal.

Has your firm ever hired an apprentice, or is this something you’re considering for the future? Share your experiences this National Apprenticeship Week and tell others why #ApprenticeshipsWork