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Sourcing an apprentice

If you’re constantly lamenting how hard it is to find good staff, this is the answer – get an apprentice, says Chris Stoker-Jones, of Catch22.

Chris Stoker-Jones

Link to apprenticeship advice

What a year 2020 was! COVID has certainly seen many businesses struggle – and for those who are surviving, has put paid to plans for growth. There have been various Government schemes put in place to support – Kickstart, Restart – and of course increased incentives to take on apprentices. The benefits of hiring an apprentice, whether that’s to hire new staff or to reskill existing staff, are significant.

Benefits of Apprenticeship Training

If you have experienced growth and are planning for further upturns in business, then recruiting apprentices into your workforce is a fantastic way to bring in fresh ideas, energy and diversity. Recruitment is such a risky task and hiring an apprentice is no different. However, 78 per cent of employers said that apprentices helped boost productivity, and three-quarters of employers stated that their product or service improved through the help of apprentices in their workforce. For example, a recruitment apprentice that we hired at Catch22 increased our website traffic by over 60 per cent and saved over £100k in recruitment costs by reducing the time to hire by ten days. This is the tangible impact an apprentice could bring to your business.

Invest in your current staff

Whilst there’s a perception that apprenticeships are largely for young people, the apprenticeship training can be used to reskill and upskill your current workforce. Investing in your teams right now could be just the tonic to the last year of turbulence. With many employees feeling vulnerable, developing them to support you filling skills gaps in your organisation can work well – and without doubt retention statistics positively spike when employees feel valued and invested in their futures. With over 700 different apprenticeship standards from level 2 through to level 7, you’re likely to find an apprenticeship to suit everyone in your team.

Employer incentives

Having laid out how you can use apprenticeships on new recruits and also incumbent staff, you are probably thinking ‘how much will this cost me?’, as training is often expensive. The answer is – nowhere near as much as you are imagining. If you are a business with a pay bill of over £3m p.a., then you will be paying into the Apprenticeship Levy. If you are not using this on apprenticeship training then you are basically handing this back to the Treasury. What a waste, don’t you think? If you are an SME, then how would you react if I told you that the Government will pay 95 per cent of the cost of the training? From as little as £200 you could pay for a Customer Service apprenticeship for one of your team. Incredible value for money I would say.

If you recruit an apprentice aged between 16 and 18, you receive £1000, but up until March 31st 2021, you will receive an additional £2000…

At the moment of writing, the Government have temporarily increased the Employer Incentives. Currently, if you recruit an apprentice aged between 16 and 18, you receive £1000, but up until March 31st 2021, you will receive an additional £2000 for recruiting a 16 to 24 year old, and an extra £1500 for 25 and over. That could be a whopping £3000 incentive payment that could go towards paying the costs for recruitment, uniform, travel perhaps.

Free Recruitment Service

Here at Catch22, we understand that recruiting staff can drain you of time and resource, so let us take that burden from your shoulders with our free recruitment service. Following working with you on the design and structure of the job description, we will advertise your apprenticeship vacancy, hold screening calls with applicants prior to handing over a shortlist of recommended candidates. Following your selection process, we will handle all of the admin of informing unsuccessful applicants as well as those who you have chosen. We will support you in the onboarding process and engage with direct line managers with the apprenticeship enrolment. Let Catch22 be your recruitment agency for your future talent pool.

Why Catch22?

We aren’t your normal training provider. We’re not obsessed with enrolling thousands of apprentices – but instead are focused on making the biggest impact with like-minded employers. Supporting businesses to design a programme that suits their needs, vision and values is what we do best and what we enjoy the most. We look to create social mobility in communities, creating opportunities for employment and supporting businesses to meet their potential.

The question you should ask yourself is not can you afford an apprentice, but can you afford not to?

Get in touch with us for an informal conversation about how Catch22 could help your business at: [email protected]

January 23, 2021

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