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The pros and cons of having an apprentice

apprenticeships

If you’re doing well and need someone to help, you might consider getting an apprentice. But is this the right move for your business? Well, like anything, it has its good and bad points. You just need to weight them up and decide if training someone is best for you.

In essence, you’ll be training a young person in your trade. They will be learning on-the-job through you and off-the-job through a college or provider.

What you need to know

  • Apprenticeship schemes are more popular than ever. Young people as a way to learn a trade and get hands-on experience. So, you should have plenty of choice when it comes to picking someone.
  • You can get expert help and support from such bodies as The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and through the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers.
  • An apprentice can be a great investment as they can make a committed workforce.
  • As most are young school or college leavers they are enthusiastic and full of energy.
  • Research has shown that they are loyal to the company that trains them.
  • You can train them up to fill a specific role, which could otherwise be difficult to fill.
  • They can bring a fresh perspective as well as new ideas to your workplace.
  • Paying for an apprentice may at first seem off-putting, but over time they can pay for themselves and make a business more productive and effective.
  • Thanks to government funding and the fact that they’re paid a reduced wage, an apprentice can be cheaper than you think.
  • You do need to invest time and effort, as an apprenticeship should last at least 12 months, but can last up to 3 or 4 years. During which, the apprentice spends some time off-site learning, but most of their time learning on the job.
  • Apprentices aged between 16 to 19 years old are fully funded by the government. At 19 and over, you may have to pay something towards them.
  • Apprenticeships are changing with the government developing new employer-led training frameworks and assessment methods. The aim is to have everything in place by 2017/18 though it is unlikely to mean a huge change for sole traders and small to medium sized businesses.
  • And finally, an apprentice is an employee so needs to be treated as one. For example you will need to get employee liability insurance if you don’t already have it.

 

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