Apprentices can also give your business a productivity boost and help free up experienced staff from other key tasks. Seventy-five per cent of West of England businesses reported that employing an apprentice has improved the quality of their product or service. Research has also shown that apprentices increase productivity by as much as £214 a week. That’s £11,000 a year; not bad for someone you thought you didn’t have time to train.

“I can’t afford an apprentice” The question should be; can you afford not to hire an apprentice? If you’re looking to grow your business, recruiting a dynamic member to the team to support your key staff really makes great business sense. For any business thinking of hiring an apprentice, a key question will be

how much an apprentice costs. It’s a lot less than you think and is actually an affordable way to recruit and train an employee. From May, small businesses won’t need to pay into the Apprenticeship

Levy system. The government instead asks that businesses considering hiring an apprentice, with a salary bill of less than £3m, to co-invest 10% of training costs, with the government funding the remaining 90%. If you also employ less than 50 staff members and recruit a 16-to- 18-year-old, training is fully funded and you’re granted £1,000 as the apprentice’s employer.

‘The question

should be; can you afford not to hire an apprentice?’

“They won’t stick around for long” Many fear they’ll spend time and money training someone up, for them to leave soon after. It’s an understandable fear but with the right work environment and support, an apprentice will feel more comfortable staying in a company that puts employee needs first. In fact, 77% of apprentices have stayed with the same employer after completing their apprenticeship.

“I don’t know how to hire an apprentice” This is where we can help. We’ve launched a new programme, Skills West, which provides free impartial quality skills advice to ensure your business has the talented individuals you need to achieve business growth. Our Skills Advisors can connect you with local and national training providers who will support you in starting the process for hiring an apprentice.

Contact the team online today or phone 0330 124 4446.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 insight 21

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