Hiring an apprentice in your business? Here are six ways you can both benefit from the relationship

(1) Do it for the right reasons

A business may form an apprenticeship programme for a corporate social responsibility initiative. However, this should not be the sole reason to recruit apprentices. Instead, think about the new skills you need for your business, and how you can grow and nurture talent within it. Ultimately, this is an investment and should carefully align with your company vision.

(2) Seek external support

When you work with a training provider or external consultant to help you with your programme, it’s important to be clear about what you want to achieve so they can build a programme to suit your needs. Also don’t be afraid to ask about funding and how they may be able to help you further – it’s crucial to maximise value to support your goals.

(3) Treat them like any other employee

When recruiting and managing an apprentice, follow the same interview and induction process that you would with any other employee. This will help them to settle in, understand your values and feel part of the team. As part of this, review their progression and evaluate what training they may need during the apprenticeship programme. After all, any new skills will benefit the company in the long-term.

(4) Coaching on the job

It’s a good idea to “buddy” apprentices up with the type of employee you would like them to become, ideally someone that understands what it’s like to be in their position. A strong buddy can teach them new skills, and crucially, set the benchmark for the type of behaviours and professionalism you expect.

(5) Plan for the future

Although you’ll recruit an apprentice based on their ability to learn behaviours, values and become a solid member of the team, ensure you have a plan in place that will help them to become effective employees and add value over time. Apprentices can introduce new skills to the business, so harness talents and interests that will suit the business in the long term. The easiest way to identify additional skills is to challenge apprentices with specific projects that will really test them.

(6) Get buy-in from the rest of the company

Finally, the most successful apprenticeship programmes secure buy-in from all areas of the business. To do this, you could offer all employees the same accredited training that is available to the apprentices, as many are unaware that they are eligible for the same funding.

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