In the past 12 months, employers of all shapes and sizes have woken up to the vast benefits hiring an apprentice brings.
Vocational qualifications are mutually beneficial and growing in popularity entering the new year.
Why? For starters, recent research by the Babington Group revealed a staggering 96% of employers recommend hiring an apprentice with 88% believing apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
We expand on these key findings and explain why 2022 is the year of the apprentice with the input of industry experts and graduates from our qualifications in our latest blog.
Apprenticeships are for everyone
Even today, it is a common misunderstanding among organisations that apprenticeships are only for young people. This assumption is completely false.
In fact, the latest Government statistics found 47% of all apprenticeships started in 2019-20 were by people aged 25 and over. A large proportion of apprentices are existing employees already on a salary that far exceeds the national minimum wage.
It means regardless of a person’s ability or position in a company, there is an apprenticeship for everyone. They are delivered from Level 2 intermediate to Level 7 master’s degree and support all professions.
Employment and further education
Other key Government findings confirmed 93% of apprentices were employed within three months of completing their vocational qualification.
Of those in employment, 76% were working full-time hours, 11% were in part-time work, 4% were self-employed and 2% had zero-hour contracts. Of those who hadn’t sourced employment, the majority were in additional education or training.
Katie Rees is one of those apprentices who chose to broaden her knowledge by studying a degree in physical education and sports science at Canterbury University.
She did this after completing Ignite Training’s Level 3 Sports Teaching Assistant apprenticeship at Holy Trinity and St John’s Primary School in Margate, Kent.
Katie said: “My apprenticeship taught me that I definitely want to be a primary school teacher. The support of James (Hood, colleague) and Leigh (Tomlinson, tutor) has been amazing and helped me get my foot in the door to university.
“For anyone considering an apprenticeship, I would tell them to go for it – it’s one of the best decisions I have made.”
Hiring an apprentice can cost an organisation as little as £4.30 per hour – or £8,385 per year.
For schools and academies, levy funds can be unlocked to help finance this sum. Other organisations are entitled to support too, including the Government’s cash bonus scheme worth up to £4,000 per apprentice.
Bedgrove Junior School have hired an apprentice for the past three academic years. Jack McDonald, PE Lead, said apprentices provide a cost-effective staffing solution which adds new skills and energy to the school’s team.
“We hired Ellie Lewis in September 2020 and she has been a fantastic asset to the school,” said Jack. “Our two previous apprentices were offered full-time jobs too and have since developed their careers further through additional training.
“The individual skillset of each apprentice helps bring out the best in our pupils and improves their school experience.”
Grow your team
Of course, the long-term objective of any apprenticeship is to help the apprentice develop and grow job-specific skills which can be applied to the real world and potentially within your business.
The fact this can be achieved in a cost friendly way is simply a bonus.
In Surrey, Sport4Kids has a vision to revolutionise children’s sport via its holiday camps and education programmes.
It does this by hiring apprentices who follow the same development pathway as their predecessors, meaning they are able to independently deliver programmes once they have established the relevant skills, knowledge and behaviours.
Maxine Ingram, Head of Education and Recruitment, said: “We need to hire apprentices so future employees can be suitably trained via paid on-the-job learning. Generally, we will employ as many apprentices as we are prepared to offer full-time roles too by time apprenticeships end.
“Being able to mould people into how we deliver programmes is an excellent asset. Apprentices have proven again and again to us they are keen to learn and full of bright ideas.”
It’s estimated the average apprenticeship will increase business productivity by £214 per week.
Hiring an apprentice not only means they will develop job-specific skills by working with existing staff, but they will also broaden their knowledge via external training.
Training can bring fresh ideas to any business by educating employees about the latest social and technological trends which can bring new ways of thinking into the workplace.
Don’t think of the limitations, think of the opportunity!
In the example of recruiting a Level 2 (intermediate) apprentice, some employers remain hesitant bringing new, relatively inexperienced, faces to their business.
It’s important to remember modern-day apprenticeships are structured and tailored to suit your businesses requirements. Consequently, 67% of apprentices stay with the same employer following the completion of their qualification.
Martin Greening, owner of Goal Coaching Ltd, has used apprentices to grow his team since establishing the business in 2018.
“I didn’t appreciate how structured modern-day apprenticeships are,” said Martin. “I’ve also been very impressed how Ignite Training tailors its service to suit our requirements as a company.
“Initially, I assumed our apprentices would learn with Ignite and work for the business. But it’s much more than that. Ignite’s service is geared around what the apprentice needs to do to perform their job effectively.
“Their education isn’t generic, it’s very job specific which accelerates development.”
Cash bonus scheme (hurry before it’s too late!)
Hiring an apprentice in 2022 will be a no-brainer for many organisations. What they may not realise is the quicker you hire, the better.
That’s because at the end of January, the Government’s cash bonus scheme will end. It’s worth up to £4,000 of Government money per apprentice hired between now and January 31, 2022. All organisations are eligible to apply.
There are no fixed rules concerning how funds are spent, but they can be used to cover apprentice costs such as travel expenses, equipment and uniform.
Justin Merritt, CEO of Ignite Training, said: “The benefits of hiring an apprentice are there for all to see.
“We’re not only here to help businesses and apprentices thrive by adding to existing staff and developing job-specific skills, but can also assist with levy claims and funding so organisations get the best return for their investment.
“I would strongly encourage all organisations interested in employing an apprentice this year to act quickly and make the most of the Government’s one-off incentive payments scheme.”
What are you waiting for?
If you’re interested in hiring an apprentice in 2022 after reading this post, why not drop our friendly team a message to find out how we can support your organisation?
We are a RoATP registered training provider delivering apprenticeships including:
- Level 2 Community Activator Coach
- Level 3 Digital Marketer
- Level 3 Junior Content Producer
- Level 3 Teaching Assistant (PE)
- Level 3 Sporting Excellence Professional
- Level 3 Community Health Officer
- Level 4 Sports Coach
- Level 5 Learning & Skills Teacher
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 303 0890 for more information.