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How to Find the Perfect Apprentice

Posted On - 10/02/2017 10:15:39

Don't make recruitment mistakes - hire the perfect apprenticeSome estimate recruitment mistakes cost 20% gross pay. That's on top of wages and NI already paid out. 

And it omits tribunal penalties – costs that can easily exceed a junior employee's wage.

It also excludes the full cost of rehiring and the cost of being one person down.

Not to mention the appalling cost of social media posts trashing your business...

With all these we've seen cost estimates go as high as 13 times pay. You have to get recruitment right. Join us to find out how…

Stating the obvious

It simply costs too much to get recruitment wrong. But how do you get it right? How do you do it so you're not taking a chance? Rather than jump to job descriptions and advertising let's come at this another way. Because the answer doesn't come from more elaborate job specs and spending more on agencies.

The place to start is with what you want at the end. You don't want anyone, you want reliable, eager employees, passionate about IT and who want to do a good job. Employees you can train and grow into loyal staff. Get clear on this and everything becomes easy. How? Because people like this are everywhere. They're all around you. They're called apprentices.

Finding the perfect apprentice

We're passionate about apprentices. We employ them ourselves and think everyone else should too. We've found they're everything we want and a great source of talent. What's more, we're recruiting more now.

And it's our passion for them that's behind why we staged a special session at our 2016 Open Day. "Finding the Perfect Apprentice" was a workshop session given by Louise Ball of Baltic Training Services about how to do exactly that. They're the provider we use ourselves. You can see her workshop below. Watch it and you'll see what she said about getting apprenticeships right. About how to make them successful for you.

How to Find the Perfect Apprentice

Employ apprentices for the right reasons

Government introduced considerable reforms to apprenticeships in 2011. Much was done to formalise, increase standards and improve the prospects for apprentices as well as the businesses that took them on.

Today apprentices must be employed under a proper contract of employment. They should be paid the appropriate minimum wage. Employers must be committed to completing the defined apprenticeship. So must provide a mentor and release the apprentice for formal training.

Times have changed. Apprenticeships aren't a way to get cheap labour to make the tea. You'll be asked to prove you're doing them for the right reasons. That you're playing your part in helping a young person with their career.

"Treat them like any valued employee and they'll blossom"

Says Peter Maskill of Arena Group – a big employer of apprentices. Baltic invited Peter along to talk about his experiences of apprentices and Baltic. Watch Baltics workshop and you'll see a discussion how employers can inadvertently get this wrong. Here Louise relates a true story. She'd visited a customer on a day it was snowing. That day half the apprentices weren't in work. The employer was disappointed and fed-up. But after Louise had called them all were in just a half hour later.

So did they all just need ‘a good talking to'? Not at all. It had nothing to do with them being work-shy and lazy. It's how they'd been ‘trained' at school. Because when it snows school's closed. They thought it'd be the same for work. The message is simple. A young apprentice doesn't have the battle scars you've got through years of work and running a business. They want to do a good – a great – job. They just need help understanding what that means and what's expected. Remember, as Louise puts it, "they may be terrified to ask."

Ethical provider

The other part of getting apprenticeships right is to use a proper provider. That means one that's clearly ethical. One where the agenda is undoubtedly about helping a young person build their skills. One where the agenda is obviously about helping them enter the jobs market successfully.

This last point is key – it's your test as to whether a provider is worth talking to. If there's real evidence they're creating sustainable employment for young people then start talking. Go ahead, they're doing it for the right reasons and you're talking to the right kind of people. But it doesn't end there.

A genuine provider goes further. They realise they can support you too. They know they can increase your chances of success. By helping you with the things they're good at. The very things you might find more difficult. Find evidence of this and you're on to a winner.

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