Today (Monday) marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2023, which runs until Sunday (12th February) and is the 16th annual celebration of apprenticeships.
This year’s NAW will focus on ‘Skills for Life’; how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career and help businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with skills for the future.
Therefore, the Council is encouraging employers to consider how apprentices can help them develop their workforce. An apprentice is employed by a company gaining hands-on experience, while also working towards a qualification. They are a great option for many because they combine on and off the job learning.
As a strong supporter of apprenticeships, the Council offers its own apprenticeship scheme, currently employing 101 apprentices – this includes new recruits, existing staff who are upskilling and apprenticeships being carried out at schools.
So, how can an apprentice help your organisation?
Prepare for the future
You can ensure that the skills developed are matched to your company’s current and future needs. This will help fill any current skills gaps; according to gov.uk, 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation.
Upskill current employees
Anyone over the age of 16 who’s living in England can apply for an apprenticeship. That includes people who want to further their careers, giving you the opportunity to upskill or retrain your employees - of any age, and at any level.
That means you can upskill in the areas where more resources are needed, and because apprentices learn ‘on the job’, they can apply their new knowledge straight away.
Enjoy higher staff retention and morale
According to gov.uk, 92% of companies that have taken on apprentices believe this leads to a more motivated and satisfied workforce. And 80% said they had seen a significant increase in employee retention.
There’s government support available
Employers can get funding from the government to help pay for apprenticeship training. Find out more about the funding on offer and how to apply on the Government’s website.
Bedfordshire Employment and Skills Academy (BESA) at Central Bedfordshire Council offers a variety of apprenticeship programmes, including the Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship which is delivered over 18 months.
If you’re thinking about hiring an apprentice for an admin-based role or have an existing employee who’s interested in developing their administration skills, BESA can talk to you about the apprenticeship programme in more detail and help you decide if the apprenticeship is suitable. If you’re looking to recruit an apprentice, we’ll even advertise your vacancy and shortlist for you to help you find the best fit for your organisation.
Get in touch today by completing our online enquiry form, www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/besa-contact-us