Tom Jeffries

5 Ways to Find An Apprentice For Your Small Business

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Apprentices have been part of the UK’s business landscape since the 12th century. Yes, they fell out of fashion in the late twentieth century, but now they’re back with George Osborne’s full support.

Small businesses operating a lean policy, especially start-ups and new business owners, know that taking on any new staff can be a headache. How does a business expand without paying high staff costs?

Apprenticeship placements have increased annually by 25%

There is an answer. The good news is apprenticeships are definitely on an upward trend.  The fact apprenticeship placements have increased by 25%, year on year, is no surprise. It’s a mutually beneficial scheme. Apprentices have always been very practical solution both for businesses and for young people keen to gain some tangible, hands-on experience.

An increase in government lending for business

The government also recognises a good thing when it sees one. In 2014/15 £500m has already been set aside for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme. This underpins a long-term commitment to SME lending. In turn, smaller companies are required to take on apprentices. In addition, there is a further tasty carrot of £400m. This will be used to fund enterprise capital. Vince Cable’s British Business Bank really does mean business when it comes to apprenticeships.

So, with the the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme also being extended for a further twelve months there is much to promote optimism for anyone considering taking on an apprentice this year.

Great incentives for potential employers

These include national insurance exemption for hired apprentices under 25. This further underpins the government’s desire to assist rather than tax business initiatives. This makes sense when such a scheme has a profound effect on society and the youth market generally.

Finding the right apprentice for your business can inject something very special into a company dynamic. It may profoundly benefit both business and the apprentice. The symbiotic nature of this relationship should underpin the whole process of finding the right youngster for your business.

What are the benefits of hiring an apprentice?

If you think you have no time for training, stop for one moment. Just imagine what a full- trained apprentice can add to your company in the long term:

  • An extra pair of hands and a young mind is gained very cost-effectively
  • It gives you the chance to reflect and consider just what a member of staff needs to know to operate within your niche
  • It’s an opportunity to give something back to the community. Who knows what your apprentice will bring to your business?
  • The right apprentice will inject a youthful perspective and have something to teach you too.
  • You will be able to shape and develop the motivated workforce you need.

Cost is not the only consideration. Consider the plus points

Naturally ever business owner will be looking to grow their business cost-effectively.  This is uppermost in every decision. Therefore, with the additional financial incentives on offer, apprenticeships are becoming a ‘must have’ solution for a large number of small business owners.

Where do I locate the right apprentice for my business?

Feedback suggests managers  might want an apprentice but don’t know how to begin the process. Where do you start finding the right apprentice for your business? Intelligent Business Transfer considers the benefits and outlines five ways business owners can locate the appropriate apprentice.

There are five main places identified to source apprentices:

  • Business advice office
  • Your local council
  • Your local colleges
  • Government websites
  • Traditional and online job advertisements

Business is Great explains in detail how a number of businesses managed to source the right apprentice and what impact it had on their companies.

To use the governmentfind an apprentice scheme’ it’s necessary to create an account for the complete information. Take on an Apprenticeship Scheme is another useful prtal. Their website outlines how to get a grant, the apprentice’s pay and conditions and the apprenticeship training agencies. This is a good place to start. After all you may well be eligible for a training grant to start this process.

Your local college and council will also direct you to a potential pool of apprentices. For example some local colleges actually advertise apprenticeships. For example South and City College in Birmingham has a focus on Business Administration Apprenticeships that are available with local employers. Try registering with your own college if you’ve made a decision to offer a placement in your company.

Utilise online resources and advertise your apprenticeship on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or any of the other social media platforms.  Many business ‘tweet-ups’ or LinkedIn groups will share your posts and colleges may be actively searching for opportunities.

If the idea of developing an apprenticeship opportunity in your company appeals then begin with the government website and start the journey today. We’ll be happy to feature your business story about finding the perfect apprentice on our website.

Further Reading

Hiring apprentices

Hiring and apprentice: the benefits for a small company

How apprentices benefit your business