By Julie Keen. Posted On 20 Feb 2018. Last Updated 20 Feb 2018.
The word “apprentice” still carries with it some stigma for some businesses, but the ever popular and cost-effective solution that apprenticeship providers offer really help SME’S onto the staff and employment ladder. We have to remember that in most cases, the apprentices are young people and we do need to provide adequate training. The likeness of them being trained in the area we require them to work in is slim to none.
If you are in a position to take on an apprentice, there are ways to ensure you get the best out of your experience.
1. Do your research: It’s not all about finding the right apprentice, you need to find the right apprenticeship provider. Ask other businesses owners about their experiences with different providers, tour websites and look at reviews of providers you are considering and have a meeting with a few to see which one is most suited to your needs.
2. Hold a multi-channel recruitment process: For example, you could hold a group interview, followed by an individual interview to those that stand out during the group interview. You could ask all interviewees to carry out a task relevant to the role they could be filling, and they could talk you through this during their interview.
3. Offer flexibility: As much as you want them to be carrying out duties for your business, you need to Remember this is a placement and they need to study. Offer them flexibility and come to an agreement prior to offering a placement. This will show how understanding and supportive you are and you should receive the same commitment from them.
4. Reference checks: Even though they have been recommended to you by the apprenticeship provider and they may shine on paper, you MUST still carry out reference checks. At the end of the day, the providers have apprentices to place and anyone can write a C.V, so be sure to carry out your own checks.
5. Training: Be sure you have a clear training program to enrol your apprentice and be aware this will take your time, so be sure to build this into your diary and allow sufficient time.