Have you hired apprentices since the pandemic?

ended 19. July 2022

A journalist at This is Money / Mail Online is writing a piece on small businesses hiring apprentices and wondered if any of you have hired any since the start of the pandemic. If so, would they be happy to be a case study? She's also looking to understand the positives and negatives of hiring apprentices and whether the apprenticeship route can help to reduce costs in the current environment. Should more small businesses consider apprentices, and if so, why?

5 responses from the Newspage community

We hired two staff using the Kickstart scheme. The idea was they would go on to an apprenticeship following the end of the initial 6 month kickstart placement. This worked worked for one employee, but not the other. There are some big pro's and con's in going down this route - initial cost savings Vs time taken for training Vs staff loyalty etc. Happy to discuss in more detail if this is of interest?
At BEAR, we have used the Apprenticeship service since early 2016 and have several people on apprenticeships right now. As a business owner, I believe there is great value in learning whilst you work. There is nothing better than applying theory to a live business environment. The value comes in how a business approaches the scheme. Cheap labour will get your cheap results, whereas using the scheme to hire someone who is driven to succeed, offering them valuable training and allowing them to have influence in their role is how we approach it at BEAR. If I did my time again I would wholeheartedly jump onto an apprenticeship, with the right employer.
Absolutely, 100% ! Apprentices, T Level students, everyone should be considering this right now, we have 2 and and plan to take on a further 2 T level students in September. We re a huge ambassador for apprentices and have recently worked on various successful case studies with clients to uplift their recruitment. It has so many positives for both the parties. So glad this is getting air time in the press right now !
We have hired Apprentices from the inception of our business – They have been integral to our growth as a Small Business, allowing myself as a business owner to share my skills with Apprentices and increase our capacity in a cost effective way. Any business owner who says “I wish there were two of me”, effectively can do that by hiring a good Apprentice who replicates things in the same way as the business owner and increases capacity. There is an obvious cost in terms of training and supervision, but this is paid back in dividends once they have been trained and can work with little supervision. Having hired apprentices through the pandemic, it was incredibly tough to supervise and train them while isolated at home, away from the office over Microsoft Teams. Our Apprentices onboarded during this period really struggled to embed into the culture of our business and grasp the work that needed to be done. Apprentices can be very cost effective for small businesses, paid on the Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage along with government grants and incentives for recruitment. We offer a full training program and career pathway to our Apprentices to ensure they see where they will progress at every stage of the program, with the offer of a full time role at the end. Due to a skills gap in our industry, we have even just developed a new apprenticeship program with a national training provider and the Institute of Legal Finance and Management to train the next generation of Legal Cashiers for our business and Law Firms across the country. We have launched the careers of many Apprentices in Derby, with one of our first, progressing to set up his own Accountancy practice. We couldn’t shout louder about the benefits that Apprenticeships have provided to our business.
I was fortunate to have three interns working with me over the past few months, since the plandemic. This has been gold! Currently it is just myself running the business, and unfortunately I am not in a position to take on staff at present, due to financial reasons. I had the opportunity to work with international students, which has really helped me. All three have recently done their masters in digital marketing, so working with this team has taught me much digitally and on a personal level. I would definitely recommend taking on students with an internship. With regards to apprentices, if you have the time to focus on their training , well it's a great thing! Back in 2015 I employed an apprentice, who I must add , shone brightly with the training I delivered ( pattern adaptation, business skills, sewing and production etc). The parnership was forged by an introduction from nutraxx, a company set up to facilitate businesses with these students, the placement was at Oldham College. I would definitely consider taking on several apprentices, provided I received the right support, as they can do a lot of good, it can be a great thing and learning whilst you earn is a great thing, an opportunity to be had!