Why hiring students and apprentices is good for business

February 15, 2018

hiring students

This month sees the 17th consecutive Student Volunteering Week in the UK. Over 60 educational establishments will be taking part in volunteering activities.

This year the theme is Student Civic Engagement.

The intention is to help increase student employability and enhance their contribution to the wider civic community.

With this in mind, how can hiring students in 2018 benefit your business?

What are the benefits of employing students?

  • Students are affordable – they earn less, at least to begin with, but they come with huge potential
  • Return on investment – the Association of Graduate Recruiters found that graduates contribute approx £1 billion to the UK economy each year through their ideas and skills
  • Students can be shaped so they become part of your company culture
  • They seek to learn and are open to new ways of learning
  • They will have up to date technical skills as well as core skills such as communication and problem solving
  • They will bring new perspectives to your business
  • They have the ability to adapt quickly to changes in the business

Why is investing in apprenticeships good for business?

A study by Alexander Mann Solutions found that a third of businesses viewed apprentices as the most valuable source of emerging talent in 2018. With Brexit looming this can be a good way to help close the imminent skills gap.

With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, new apprenticeships starts has fallen by 59%. SME’s can still benefit hugely from developing talent within by using apprentices and there are financial incentives to do so.

With 90% government funding of the total training cost and with some training providers offering other financial incentives this can make apprenticeships a highly viable option for a small business to gain access to fresh talent.

So why take on an apprentice?

  • Apprenticeships are a flexible means of training new staff
  • Credibility – the new standards have been set by industry to ensure that apprentices finish their training with highly relevant and sought-after skills. This makes them highly employable
  • Apprentices are committed. Investing in apprentices increases engagement and has an impact on productivity levels
  • Fresh thinking and new skills are brought to the business

What to consider when taking on an apprentice

  • Align their training to the businesses strategy so apprentices can understand how they can contribute to the aims of the business.
  • Decide who needs to be involved. Apprentices need a network of support throughout the business to thrive.
  • Choose the right standards. This will help to deliver company aims as well as develop the skills of the apprentice. Your training provider will help you to choose.

Research has shown that 80% of companies who invest in apprenticeships report an increase in staff retention.

You’re not only investing in an individual but demonstrating that developing from within and investing in staff is important to your business. This will be rewarded by loyal and committed staff.

Need advice and guidance on employing graduates or starting an apprenticeship? Call Debbie on 01278 802329 or email debbie@concilium-hr.co.uk  .

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