If hiring an apprentice sounds too good to be true, we agree that you have good reason to think that. There are Government-led financial incentives to recruit apprentices, there are easy-to-follow guidelines for pay and conditions, there are training companies to teach the apprentices.
With so much help available for businesses thinking of hiring an apprentice you may be left wondering ‘what’s the catch?’ Well, there is no catch as such, but your business will be expected to invest in an apprentice and their future in other ways.
What is ‘my investment’?
First and foremost you have to be prepared to take a calculated risk on an unproven young person, possibly with no work history and/or no academic record. Secondly, your business has to commit twelve months to employing a young person so they can complete their training and graduate a budding IT professional.
Long term ROI
Whilst we acknowledge these commitments come with their own risks, we also know what you invest in an apprentice now will, long term, sharpen your business’s competitive edge and grow your bottom line significantly.
When you invest in employing a young person with no track record you are taking a gamble. Will they stay the course? Will they be mature? Will they misrepresent my business? Will they take it seriously? These are questions we hear from concerned business owners time and again, and rightly so.
IT Apprentice application process
NowSkills carefully vet all young people applying for the NowSkills IT Apprenticeship, we expect them to apply for the apprenticeship in the same way they would apply for any professional job: an application form, an assessment centre and an interview. Whilst we can vouch for how they will perform on the day we can guarantee they have met or exceeded our rigorous entry requirements before being allowed to commence their apprenticeship.
We hope they will display the same commitment and tenacity once in the workplace. However, to mitigate the risk the Government rewards businesses that take on apprentices with grant funding, in the form of the AGE 16-24 grant, plus they acknowledge the skills and experience deficit of employing an apprentice allowing employers to legally pay them a reduced rate National Minimum Wage.
What we expect
In return for favourable employment conditions for apprentices there are some expectations of employers.
Firstly, we don’t expect an employer to pull out once an apprenticeship has commenced. An employer who decides to pull out of their apprenticeship agreement endangers the future of their apprentice. We know problems arise from time to time so that’s why we have a comprehensive support system in place that should ensure any problems you face are addressed in a timely and professional manner.
Secondly, we do not want you to treat your apprentice any differently to other members of staff. Yes, they are unlike other members of staff because they are balancing the demands of work and study simultaneously but they workplace skills they acquire in your workplace are just as important as the formal qualifications they obtain from NowSkills.
An apprentice who recognises the commitment an employer has made to their development is likely to grow into a longstanding, loyal member of staff.
Ready to apply?
If you are ready to invest in a young person’s future and you think your business would benefit from an apprentice start the hiring process today.