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The government is pushing the new apprenticeship scheme hard. They are targeting the public sector to have 2.3% of their employees on apprenticeship schemes in 2021/22 (if their headcount is over 250)  There are a lot of advantages to participating, but how does a business ensure it chooses the ideal apprentice?

Visit schools and colleges

The best way to find a suitable candidate is to actively engage with schools and colleges. Don’t wait to be contacted. Most educational establishments for 16 and 17 year olds will have a system in place that allows businesses to make contact with potential apprentices. 

A lack of background information is one obstacle that many HR departments face when evaluating potential apprentices. At this age, there is less information available than you would get with a candidate who has higher qualifications. 

Initial screening can be done using a skill or strength based approach, instead of the usual competency based assessment.

A school reference also helps narrow the field, but in the absence of pre-existing abilities employers will look for the right attitude, and whether their personality is a good fit. This is only possible with a face to face meeting. Enthusiasm will count a lot while they learn their new trade. 

Establish a contact with the staff at local colleges that provide courses relevant to your business. This is particularly the case in the technology sector where apprenticeships can fill a vital skills gap. So instead of spending time recruiting staff with the skills you need, you can train a young person with the right aptitude for that specific role. 

Go online

Alternatively you can use the internet to help connect with potential apprentices. HR professionals won’t be surprised to find out that there is an online solution that can help you find an apprentice. Web platform Go Rookie connects candidates and businesses. Your Leap is a local enterprise and apprenticeship platform that operates around the Sussex area. Companies can also advertise through the government’s own portal, Find An Apprenticeship. 

Invest and engage

Just as you are evaluating potential apprentices, they are looking at what you can offer. To get the highest quality candidates make sure you have a solid offer already outlined. A good plan will include a structure for the term of the apprenticeship, whether it is one year or four, which will help them grow. 

Consider an apprentice an investment and you will naturally attract the best talent. Don’t be tempted to cut corners when it comes to wages. An apprentice isn’t cheap labour. That doesn’t make them an expensive recruitment option. Indeed, despite the initial outlay and need for training, the UK Commission on Employment found that apprenticeships were considered the most cost-effective staff training by 88% of employers surveyed. 

What additional resources are available to help companies looking for apprentices? Get In Go Far is the government run website aimed at helping companies. Its advisors will work with you to see how an apprentice can fit in your organisation, help you find the right funding, and also connect you with the providers in your area that can provide the training that will be needed. Contact us at Morgan Spencer today for more information and advice.

Posted by: Morgan Spencer