Why apprentices could turn into your best performing employees

May 8th, 2017 at 10:46 am in , Culture Change, Culture fit, Hiring for culture fit, Hiring strategy, Millennials by welovework

If you don’t already know the apprenticeship levy has arrived. UK companies with a wage bill of £3 million or more will be expected to pay 0.5 of their annual pay bill towards an apprenticeship training fund.

The benefits of hiring an apprentice

Investing in apprentices is a worthwhile cause and if done correctly can build a great pipeline of millennial talent into your business.

If you are to invest in an apprentice it is vital that you are hiring candidates who are the right fit for your company culture. Apprenticeship placements on average last 18 months and can result in extremely high turnover rates if the candidate is not comfortable at work. My years of experience in early careers recruitment taught me that young millennials have less to lose by leaving if they don’t feel they are included or fit in. Younger millennials are also big on future career prospects, so if they feel there is no room for progression they are less likely to stick out the opportunity.

How do you know if your culture accommodates those who are learning?

Measuring your culture and work environment to see if you are “apprentice ready” can help.

HR and recruitment managers should ask themselves whether they have the right support systems in place to ensure that apprentices joining are on-boarded well.

It is also important to consider the things you may need to adjust before hiring apprentices into your business.

First timers

If it’s your organisations first time, you may have preconceived notions of what taking on an apprentice may involve. Essentially the key to a successful apprenticeship programme is ensuring you hire the right apprentice. Make sure they are a fit for your company culture as this will reduce on-boarding time and increase the chances of them staying and performing better in their role.

We tried and failed!

If you have dabbled with apprenticeship programmes that failed, try to determine why they were unsuccessful. Develop a strategy to attract, hire and retain the best apprentices for your business. Think about the types of candidates you want to attract and ensure your acquisition channels are appropriate. Your recruitment marketing must also be effective in targeting and attracting the right talent.

The rewards of a successful apprenticeship scheme

Apprenticeships can be extremely rewarding for both the apprentice and the company. If done well there is no reason why your apprentice could not evolve into one of your best performing employees. Investing in training and development is extremely important to millennial workers. Millennials are more likely to be loyal and committed to your organisation if they are invested in.

5 tips to for converting your apprenticeship programmes into a great success

  1. Choose the right training provider – Ensure you get at least two references from clients who have used the training provider previously. I have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to training providers and I cannot stress how important it is that you choose a high quality one.
  2. Demonstrate career progression after the apprenticeship – Career progression is extremely important to young millennials. You are more likely to attract the best talent if you can showcase how apprentices can progress within the company long term.
  3. Ensure your recruitment marketing appeals to apprenticeship candidates – Post opportunities in the right places. Less than 35% of young millennials are on Linkedin, so ensure you use the appropriate acquisition channels. Use case studies and testimonials from apprentices that have done well in your company to attract talent for future programs.
  4. Hire apprentices that share your values – Measure the apprentices values and motivations against your company culture to ensure they are a good fit.
  5. And lastly, build a strong support system – Ensure you assign your apprentice mentors and role models so they feel included and supported in their role.


For more information on We Love Work’s Culture analytics platform for hiring and business growth, please get in touch. E: Hello@welovework.com

Written by Paris Petgrave, Co founder We Love Work

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