Our training, your way

Are you ready for an apprentice?

Thinking about your business, answer the following questions with answer A or B to find out if you are ready to have an apprentice in your team.

1. What tasks would you give the apprentice on a daily basis?

a. Tasks that my team members and I don’t want to do.
b. Tasks that will benefit the business, and help the individual grow.

2. Where do you see the apprentice in two or three years?

a. I don’t intend on keeping them here for longer than the duration of their programme. We don’t have future career paths planned out.
b. If they do well, show potential and provide value to the business, we would look to keep them on to help them grow in their career and maximise our training investment.

3. Have you considered whether the apprenticeship programme you want the apprentice to start on is appropriate for the level of candidate you are trying to attract?

a. They need to come in and do the course we put them on whether they are ready or not.
b. Yes, the course they are on needs to be engaging for the individual and at the right level for them so they have the best chance to succeed and stay on the programme.

4. Do you know who your competition for candidates is in the local area?

a. Yes, but we aren’t worried about them. Young people are desperate for jobs so we’ll have no trouble finding someone.
b. Yes, and we are carefully considering how they promote their apprenticeship vacancies to ensure we stack up against our own competition. 

5. Would you consider paying more than the minimum wage for an apprentice?

a. Why would we?
b. We think it enables us to get a greater number of applications and better quality of candidate. For our team member to have a better quality of life and be motivated to stay on the course, why wouldn’t we?

Scoring 

If you selected all B’s – Congratulations! Your business is ready for an apprentice!

If you selected any A’s, read our guidance below on how you can help your business get ready for an apprentice.

Guidance 

1. What tasks would you give the apprentice on a daily basis?

A candidate will consider your role more favourably if it sounds interesting with varied duties that will challenge them and teach them new skills that they can continue to use throughout their career.

If the job description does include some more mundane functions try to offset these with something else that will appeal, for example, updating social media, working with websites, planning or designing, whatever is appropriate to the programme they are studying.

2. Where do you see the apprentice in two or three years?

The future prospects you can offer your apprentice will matter. If there is career progression and an option to continue training, make this very clear to them. This will make your opportunity stand out, you will receive more interest and hopefully more applicants. It will also give the candidate greater motivation to work towards an overall goal whilst they are with your company.

3. Have you considered whether the apprenticeship programme you want the apprentice to start on is appropriate for the level of candidate you are trying to attract?

Carefully consider whether the apprentice will be coming into your organisation at the right level and on the right programme. Our industry experience has found that sales and recruitment based roles that include outgoing sales calls or recruitment based telephone work are considered very daunting and younger candidates can be put off from applying for these roles. 

If you are able to start the apprentice in a more supportive role alongside the sales or recruitment team they will end up working in, it will give them more exposure to that role and confidence to go for an internal move in the future. 

Consider business administration or customer service programmes instead with a modified job description. Train them to be who you want them to be and please don’t expect them to accept full job responsibilities straight away.

4. Do you know who your competition for candidates is in the local area?

When you are preparing for your apprenticeship recruitment take a look at the Governments apprenticeship website, https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship, or GetMyFirstJob, https://www.getmyfirstjob.co.uk/ and search for other opportunities in your local area.  This will allow you to see what other roles the candidates can also apply for close to you.  Use this information to see rates currently on offer and how long these vacancies have been open for.

5. Would you consider paying more than the minimum wage for an apprentice?

Higher rates will encourage a higher standard of applicants. If you pay the minimum rate this will mean a longer wait for a successful placement as they will consider the better quality vacancies instead of yours. Consider the well-being of that individual.

If someone does accept your offer on a low rate and starts with your company, this lower rate may well encourage them to look for a higher paid role with another employer. This gives you an increased chance of them not continuing their employment with you which is disappointing for all parties, but also wastes your time and money.

One way to look at this is, for example, if your role requires a driver to get to work due to poor public transport links or to complete the daily tasks, make sure you are paying enough for a driver to run that car.