At Atlas, we’re familiar with the benefits of hiring apprentices – over the last 12 months we’ve welcomed three in to our business.It’s incredibly satisfying to see our fresh recruits adapt and thrive in their new environment, especially as they’re local people, serving their local healthcare economy.
Whether you’re fresh out of school, or have been established in a role for a while, the concept of learning new skills, combining work with study can often be a daunting task. That’s why at Atlas we’re incredibly proud to see our apprentice’s confidence and skills set flourish as they find their feet and take on their next chapter.
In our latest blog we’re sharing what we have learned through employing apprentices and how they can help to future proof your business.
In 2017 the UK Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy and if you haven’t heard of this, you can find more detailed information here. In summary, the levy is a pot of money that companies and public sector bodies with payrolls greater than £3m are legally required to set aside for apprenticeships.
The latest statistics confirm that there we’re 284,700 commitments in the apprenticeship service following a report by the UK Government in December 2018. Although initially the levy was criticised from both employers and trade bodies as it was seen as an additional tax on businesses. A report by the Open University however, highlights that 84 per cent of business leaders in England now supports the apprenticeship levy, with 65 per cent in agreement that it will help businesses to attract and retain talent.
At Atlas, the levy tax has allowed us to outline specific funds to support our recruitment of apprentices. We don’t see the levy as a tax, more as an opportunity to recruit and up-skill the local workforce, which ties in well with our corporate social responsibility.
The benefits include;
Apprentices inject new talent and expertise into an organisation, this in-turn can add a whole new dimension to your workplace. At Atlas apprentices have helped to bring in new ideas and a fresh perspective, their inquisitive, and keen to learn, which makes them prepared and ready to get stuck in too. We noticed that in particular, this triggered excitement and motivation amongst our existing Atlas employees, which sparked a boost in our businesses productivity on a whole.
In many ways, apprentices offer a cost-effective solution for businesses. Recent studies suggest that on average apprentices increase the productivity of an organisation by £214 a week alone. This isn’t purely just a monetary saving. A lot of the cost-effectiveness is driven by apprentices learning within the business and gaining valuable skills, knowledge and most importantly understanding the way your business operates.
Tackling the skills gap
Apprenticeships can help to plug your skills gap; at Atlas, we’ve witnessed this first hand. We’ve recently developed a medical engineering apprenticeship that fulfils our current operational requirement but also secures our future within this profession. Allowing us to develop a training and recruitment module that will allow us to recruit more apprentices in the future. As a local business, we also uphold the responsibility within our local community to provide skilled opportunities to up-skill the workforce.
Apprenticeship schemes are being developed for just about every occupation and industry. They’re ideal for helping organisations obtain the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they need while growing a talented and engaged workforce.
Increase staff retention
We also noticed that as well as helping Atlas to gain the right kind of skills for our business, by employing apprentices this also had an effect on staff retention, providing us with skilled staff for the future. One study by DJS Research reported that apprentices are on average more loyal employees. This reigns true, in Atlas’ recent staff satisfaction survey, 86 per cent of staff were proud to work for Atlas and 84 per cent of staff would recommend Atlas as a great place to work.
Tailored to your business
Apprenticeships can be tailored to specific job roles; this was, of course, the case for Atlas.
At Atlas, we worked with both local colleges, universities and external recruitment agencies to build apprenticeship programmes that fit around our organisation, making them incredibly flexible to the needs of our business.
The added advantage of these tailored apprenticeships is that you will effectively train a new employee to think and act in the interests of your business from day one, this will help to build long-term loyalty and appreciation.
Future proof your business
Succession planning is important for any business, apprenticeships can be used as a channel to develop and prepare your existing staff and new recruits to focus on developing their own skills set. So that employees can take the next step into senior leadership roles in the future.
So, don’t waste time thinking about why you should employ apprentices when we’ve already outlined how your business can benefit, instead get started and make contact with your local college or university to see how they might be able to support you.
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