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Benefits to taking on an apprentice for my business? The Pros and Cons

The Benefits

Remember that this apprentice, wants to be here! They will have a genuine interest in your industry and will have gone through your recruitment process and you would have chosen to take them on based on their credentials.

They know the purpose of their role within your company is to learn on the job, they will be keen and enthusiastic to learn.

Most employers will give testament to the fact that their apprentices in the past have been nothing but helpful and hardworking.

Secondly, should you decide in the future that you will be ready to increase your head count at work, you already have the ideal candidate. Your apprentice has spent extensive time training in the work environment of your business and is familiar with the team. They know their way around the workplace and they know ‘how things are done’ because they have been trained among your own staff. You have trained them in the way you want them to be trained, to mould the apprentice in to the member of staff you want them to be, they are less likely to have bad habits or preconceptions about ‘how things should be done’. This is a huge benefit to your company. So, when your apprentice has reached the end of their apprenticeship, they have become a real asset to your company and could be easily converted into a full employee.

When you take on a brand-new employee, there is always the risk that they won’t gel with the team, and there is undoubtedly a period of ‘familiarisation’.

Thirdly, it is important to remember that apprentices aren't always 16/17 with no work experience – this isn't always true and just out of school. Apprentices can be any age, so this means that they may already have work experience behind them that can help them progress even faster in their role.

The Downside

There are a few potential cons to taking on an apprentice.

The first they are untrained in your field of work. That is, of course, the reason for their placement and this issue can be well anticipated. Existing employees may find that their time is having to be split between completing their own work and assisting your apprentice with theirs, although this is only during the initial phases until the apprentice becomes confident enough to fly solo. This initial phase which sees the apprentice requiring teaching and increased supervision can be shortened by implementing a well thought out induction and training process.

The Outcome

The benefits of taking on an apprentice outweigh the drawbacks. When you consider the levels of productivity of your workforce, they could, of course, suffer a dip in the initial stages after introducing an apprentice to the team because he or she must be taught and trained from scratch. This quickly changes though once the apprentice becomes trained and becomes an additional, dedicated member of the team. Productivity at this stage could increase considerably above average. It is unlikely that they will have an abundance of industry knowledge initially, but it is most likely that they will have a genuine enthusiasm and interest in your field. They will, therefore, be quick to learn and eager to improve their skills.

If the overall morale of your team is a concern when considering whether or not to employ an apprentice, existing employees may show reluctance to donate their time and efforts, but they will soon realise how helpful an extra pair of hands can be! The majority of employees will admit that having someone around the workplace who can assist with workloads is invaluable. Not only will the apprentice be keen to learn new skills, they will be trained to fit the mould and standards of the team

By taking on an apprentice, you are furthering the learning and bettering the opportunities for someone taking their first steps onto the career ladder. Apprentices want to develop new skills, learn your trade, immerse themselves in your industry and earn opportunities for their future. By taking on an apprentice, you can offer someone the chance to achieve these goals. Since your company will benefit financially from the increased productivity of taking on an apprentice, it seems only fair that the apprentice should be given the chance to achieve these goals. And not forgetting, once their time at your company has come to an end, they have converted themselves into an important member of the team.

Credits:

Created with images by Georgia de Lotz - "Apple of my eye" • Mimi Thian - "untitled image" • Cytonn Photography - "untitled image" • John Schnobrich - "untitled image" • rawpixel - "action brainstorming business" • rawpixel - "office business paperwork"

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