HR Expert: Benefits of Apprentices
A client has enquired about how hiring an apprentice can benefit their small business. They would like to be better informed on the advantages in order to determine whether to go ahead with their plans to hire and train apprentices.

Your client will know what their business requires for growth and expansion. Apprentices are a great way to bring new talent into the business as they can be trained up from the very beginning to fill any skills gaps and bring new ideas for business development.

Apprentices working under a contract of apprenticeship have employee status (and additional protections) and are therefore entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage (NMW) at the appropriate rate for apprentices. This rate is lower in the first year (and if they are under the age of 19) than other NMW entitlements meaning your client will be saving money by hiring an apprentice.

If your client has fewer than 50 employees, they will receive 100% of apprenticeship costs from the Government if the apprentice is:

  • aged 16 to 18, or
  • aged 19 to 24 and has previously been in care or has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan.

Your client will also have the opportunity to bring more young people into their business, or older people who are looking for a new challenge and have a wealth of transferable experience which can benefit the business.

Just as older people can benefit the business, young people can also offer priceless contributions. For example, they may have advanced technological skills, keenness to learn new skills, and offer new perspectives to problem-solving.

Overall, a 2020 government survey has found that 74% of employers noted that apprenticeships have helped them improve the quality of their product or service.

Lastly, in 2020, a government survey found that 78% of employers felt that apprentices helped them to improve productivity within their workforce. This may be down to the fact apprentices tend to be very eager to learn and are often enthusiastic about their position and getting their foot in the door of a growing business.

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