Lucubrate Magazine, Issue 43, October 19th, 2018

Why wouldn’t a company want to hire an apprentice? They get to bring in someone who will contribute to the business from day one, who will add the right skills to the mix and who will absorb their ways of working.

Although youth unemployment levels are still high, we have witnessed in many countries a change in employer behavior over the last few years. Indeed, many employers have started to recognize that investing in young people helps them to win the war on talent and that this investment begins early with engagement, at schools and universities.

What Is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a combination of employment and training (the apprentice obtains a nationally recognized qualification upon completion) available to anyone entitled to work. Employers train individuals in the context of their organization, so apprentices develop their skills while contributing to the organization’s productivity.

Apprenticeships are an asset to any organization and bring significant benefits to the business and existing workforce. Apprenticeships are a unique way to ‘grow your own’; they combine on-the-job training in an organization with off-the-job learning and provide employers with an effective way of growing their skills base. The apprentice’s learning takes place in context and provides a real understanding of the working world, combining practical skills with theoretical knowledge.

Apprenticeships can, therefore, offer a career route into an organization and an invaluable opportunity to develop the expertise the organization needs now and in the future. Furthermore, offering Apprenticeships can help to improve social mobility and diversity within an organization.

Photo: torwaiphoto

Why Employ an Apprenticeship?

As well as improvements to diversity, Apprenticeships can help staff retention and engagement, can offer a means of developing the existing workforce and increase innovation and productivity.

In a guide for employers, you can find some key ideas on the apprenticeships in an organization [1].

  • Apprenticeships need to be embedded in a workforce planning approach with clear business benefits, as part of a long-term strategy on workforce growth and skills development
  • Traineeships can be an effective way of sourcing and preparing the next generation of apprentices for your business and planning where your future skills are coming from.
  • A prerequisite for a successful Apprenticeships programme is clarity about the role that apprentices play in the organization, job design which ensures on- and off-the-job learning and development, and a shared understanding of how they will be supported and by whom
  • Winning the support of the existing workforce, senior management, as well as line managers and trade unions, is crucial. Line managers, in particular, need the right assistance and tools to effectively manage young apprentices straight out of education who may be new to the workplace
  • The training apprentices receive on and off the job needs to be high quality and tailored to both the apprentices’ and employers’ needs; to achieve this, the relationship with the training provider needs to be managed carefully
  • Recruiting apprentices may differ from the usual recruitment procedure, especially when the candidate is particularly young (16–18) and has no prior work experience
  • To ensure success, the apprentice needs to be placed at the heart of the Apprenticeship programme and employers must provide ongoing support, pastoral care and mentoring. At this stage, management of the apprentice is essential to guarantee that apprentices adapt to the workplace and continue to grow with your business
  • Employers need to make sure they provide fair access to their Apprenticeship schemes and widen the talent pool from which they recruit concerning gender, ethnicity, and diversity

Photo: gustavofrazao

So, Will, You Hire an Apprentice?

Why wouldn’t a company want to hire an apprentice? They get to bring in someone who will contribute to the business from day one, who will add the right skills to the mix and who will absorb their ways of working. Young people who enroll in graduate schemes, for example, are expected to bring in knowledge and skills from outside the organization; but an apprenticeship scheme grows those skills from within.

 

Reference

[1] Learning to Work, A guide for employers, CIPD (2017)

 

 


Lucubrate Magazine, Issue 43, October 19th, 2018

The photo on top: Robert Kneschke

 


Men hold placards offering temporal employment services in Glenvista, south of Johannesburg, October 7, 2010.
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Lucubrate Magazine
Lucubrate Magazine

The Lucubrate Magazine highlights education and development. Development in this context can be technological, educational, individual, social or global, and everything related to education.

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