The Five Top Reasons to Hire an Apprentice
05 November 2018
Apprentices should be the lifeblood of any construction SME. In this blog, we detail the five best reasons to hire one.
If we want the construction sector to work more effectively, it’s essential that we put apprentices at the centre of our industry. Apprentices can be the lifeblood of any construction SME and provide a range of benefits to employers. Unfortunately, in recent years a number of negative misconceptions have developed around apprenticeships. In this blog, we detail some of the advantages of employing young, talented individuals as apprentices.
1. Grow your team while keeping staff costs down
In periods of heightened business activity, it can be difficult to recruit staff reactively. Firms often find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, unable to guarantee if this level of business will persist to the point where the investment is returned. In these moments, flexible staffing and the use of apprentices can offer one of the best options available. Taking on an apprentice means you can grow a team whilst at the same time keeping staff costs down. This means you can take on more work to keep cash flow moving. It has never been easier to source a competent apprentice. Leading training providers, such as ourselves, are on hand to match talented apprentices with firms in need of an apprentice through ‘apprentice matching’ programs. This means you don’t have to worry about doing any of the legwork previously associated with finding a suitable candidate. Bringing on an apprentice is helping firms make reactive, decisive and impactful staffing choices, which can help when it comes to taking advantage of upturns in the construction market.
2. Apprentices are better trained than ever before
A misconception, which has negatively affected the image of apprenticeships, is the idea that apprentices are often unprepared for site. In the past, the level of apprenticeship training across the sector has been non-uniform, which has led to some apprentices leaving colleges with unsatisfactory skill levels. As a result, construction firms have previously had to ‘fill the gap’ and offer apprentices additional training on-site, which is far from ideal.
Fortunately, in recent years, the level of investment being put into improving the standard of apprentice training has steadily increased. This culminated earlier this year with the advent of the Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards. The new standards directly link apprentice training with employers’ needs and teach the skills required for the ‘real world’ of work.
We helped to design the Plasterer Trailblazer Apprenticeships Standards alongside the Federation of Master Builders. More than ever before, you can be assured that the apprentices you bring into an organisation will be of a high standard and able to deliver work to satisfactory levels.
3. Give your team new skills and energy
Bringing on apprentices can help to make your organisation more diverse, and as a result, add a new sense of vibrancy and urgency into your operations. Apprentice staff tend to be young, and increasingly come from backgrounds that the construction industry has previously struggled to attract.
Bringing an apprentice on-board can help to inject a new sense of urgency into your workforce, which can have a number of benefits further down the line. Bringing in a new sense of perspective can help your business keep up with the times and ensure that you don’t lose sight of new opportunities on the horizon.
4. Help bring through a new generation of talent
It’s important that the next generation of talented construction professionals get the opportunity to prove their worth on-site. By taking on apprentices, construction SMEs are helping to make this ambition a reality. Employing an apprentice contributes to a process that is helping the construction sector fill the skill gap that it’s currently struggling to overcome.
5. Apprentices increase productivity
Another big problem currently affecting the construction sector, as well as the broader economy is a lack of productivity amongst workers. Taking an apprentice on-board has been shown to help drive productivity levels. In fact, according to the National Apprenticeship Service some 68% of companies reported improved productivity after taking on an Apprentice.