National Apprenticeship Week 2022
It’s National Apprenticeship Week, which means it’s the time that employers are encouraged to highlight and promote the amazing work done by their apprentices, all over the country.
National Apprenticeship Week takes place every year, this year being February 7th-13th. As an employer who has taken on many apprentices over my years in business, I can say first hand that hiring apprentices was one of the best decisions I’ve made for so many different reasons.
This week is all about the celebration of apprenticeships, and bringing the community of apprentices together. It’s a time to show the positive differences that apprentices make to employers and businesses.
National Apprenticeship Week was huge last year! In fact, #NAW2021 was trending at number one with 500 million impressions. It’s so great to see so much positivity and appreciation amongst the community. Make sure to get involved this year!
Apprentices can benefit businesses in all industries, no matter the size. First, let’s take a look at some of the facts.
Things you may not know about Apprenticeships…
There tends to be a lot of misconceptions about apprenticeships, so here’s a few little facts you may not know!
Anyone over 16 can do an apprenticeship
A lot of people think that you have to be in college or be a teenager to be an apprentice, but actually any person of any age can do an apprenticeship! As long as the candidate is over 16, you can enroll them on an apprenticeship course.
Apprenticeships can be done up to a degree and masters level
Apprenticeships don’t have to just be a level 2 or 3 qualification. They can also be degree or masters level, depending on experience and existing qualifications.
You can take on an unlimited amount of apprentices
There’s no limit to how many apprentices you can recruit! Hire as many as you need.
It can cost less to recruit apprentices than experienced candidates
Apprentices are paid an apprenticeship wage. Apprentices aged 16-18 are paid £4.30 per hour, those over 19 are also paid £4.30 per hour in their first year. If the apprentice is aged 19 or over and has completed their first year, they’re entitled to National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage for their age. You can find more information about apprenticeship pay here.
This means you’re paying your employees less, but you will need to spend more time training them, as they’re likely to have less experience than professionals/experienced workers.
I’ve had my fair share of experience with apprentices. Not only does it benefit the business financially, but it also provides a platform for people to gain experience in an industry they love, and kick start their career. I’ve had apprentices in my salon, and in my mentoring business.
Chelsie, our Business Administrator, started off working with me as an apprentice in 2017. She’s still with us to this day and has been by my side in this business since the beginning.
Kris, our Digital Marketer and Designer, started off as a Kickstarter in May of 2021. The Kickstart Scheme is a scheme put forward by the government to give 18-24 year olds an opportunity to find work in an industry of their choice, and have their wages paid by the government.
The scheme goes on for 6 months, then I decided to keep Kris on as she is such a great part of our team! As of October last year, I enrolled Kris onto a Marketing apprenticeship. This shows you can enroll your employee onto an apprenticeship at any point during their employment, and they’ll come out with a qualification! It benefits both the business and the employee.
I also have a few apprentices in my salon Serenity Loves. It gives the stylists a chance to develop their skills and gain a lot of experience in the hair and beauty industry. It’s so competitive that it can be hard to get your foot in the door – the same with marketing or content writing. So apprenticeships provide a great platform for this
The benefits of Apprenticeships…
I have so many people asking me why I employ apprentices and encourage everyone I mentor to employ apprentices. Apprentices have been fundamental in all my small businesses! I’d 100% recommend looking into it.
This is a huge one for me! Loyalty is one of my biggest values! If you bring an apprentice in at the early stages of their career journey, they will more than likely stay with you for a longer amount of time because they have grown with you. As small business owners would know, loyalty can be very hard to find in people. And it especially hurts when an employee decides to leave. It’s hard to not take it personally. But when you give someone a chance to work for you, help them get a qualification AND they are learning and growing every day, their loyalty to you is much stronger.
They learn from the start what the expectations are and how to do things
All businesses are different and they all teach their staff different ways to do things. By hiring an apprentice, you can train them exactly to your business standards and needs. It can be difficult to hire someone who already has a background in that industry, as it means you will have to spend more time retraining them to your business expectations.
Business costs are lower
Apprenticeship schemes are lower than ever and you may even be lucky enough to get apprentices funded for you. This means that all you would need to pay is their minimum wage. But if you do need to pay for them to do the qualification, it is only 5%. So not a huge cost for businesses!. As a plus, because their wages are lower, this means that National Insurance and Tax on the business is lower too!