Chesterfield News

5 reasons to hire an apprentice

Wondering whether your business should hire an apprentice?

You might be considering taking on a new employee as an apprentice. Or perhaps you want to boost the skills of your current team members. Either way, apprenticeships could go a long way to support the growth of your business.

We spoke to local employers to find out how they have benefitted from apprenticeships. To discover 5 ways you could benefit too, click on the links below:

1. Boost diversity through flexible training options

Woman in peach shirt smiling and sitting at desk

Milena Vasileva, Whittam Cox, Level 7 Architecture Apprentice

Did you know that businesses who invest in apprenticeships find it easier to entice and retain individuals from all backgrounds and areas of expertise, resulting in more creative teams that are better at problem solving?

Through the flexibility of apprenticeships, architect practice Whittam Cox has enabled team members to study while working after deciding against full time attendance at university.

Milena (pictured above) joined Whittam Cox Architects in 2018. The team said “Milena showed great promise from the start, taking on more responsibility progressively. She has developed into a key member of the architectural team.

“Apprenticeships provide our employees with a valuable alternative to the traditional routes to qualification. They not only diversify the path to qualification but also produce well-rounded individuals capable of applying academic knowledge in real-world situations.”

2. Shape the skills and training your business needs for growth

Man on the phone sitting in front of a computer

Tom Zerboni, Lime Living, Level 2 Junior Estate Agent

To stay competitive, your business needs to adapt quickly; if you hire an apprentice you can tailor your training to suit your growth plans.

Lime Living has benefitted from its apprentices being taught the specific knowledge needed for the company’s success. Director, Katie Wajs, said: “Tom is being trained internally with the knowledge we already possess, helping to run the business on a day-to-day basis and learning what is required for a qualification in estate agency.”

“We worked with our training provider to tailor the learning that was delivered,” said Nikki Lowe, HR Officer at Fairplay. “This made it more specific to Fairplay, which was a huge bonus.”

Man wearing a high vis jacket stood next to a building site

Josh Plumridge, BSP, Structural Engineer Apprentice

BSP’s MD Carl Hilton agrees. “Our apprentice Josh’s training has been adapted according to the needs of our business,” he says. “Josh is very motivated to learn new skills.”

Woman sitting at a desk with multiple computer screens

Claudia Risorto, Banner Jones, Apprentice Solicitor

Apprenticeships allow you to develop staff to gain a deep understanding for your business and values. “They go on to understand your business and clients as well as your specific aims and ethos,” said Simon Wright, CEO of Banner Jones Solicitors. “In addition, the standard of training is very high. This means that, on qualification, we have a high calibre solicitor ready to go.”

When undertaking an apprenticeship, individuals will work with and be trained by experienced and trusted members of your team. This means they are learning exactly what you want them to, in the way you want them to. The team at Dalton Roofing said:

“Wesley has always been enthusiastic. He has focused on his learning at college, through mentors such as our site manager Paul, and with other experienced roofers within Dalton Roofing. He has also trained in installation of Velux windows and is going on a lead course in 2024 to really excel his training and skills.”

Young man in a warehouse working with large steel component

Ewan Walker, MSE Hiller, Level 3 Mechanical Engineering Apprentice

An apprenticeship also allows training to be more in depth, with a focus on both theory and practice. Apprentice Ewan’s colleagues at MSE Hiller said:

“When we hire an apprentice, we like to train them in multiple disciplines to give them a greater understanding of processes within the business.

“In his time with the business, our apprentice Ewan has learnt the process of welding, balancing, and has been trained to drive the shunter and forklift trucks. This allows Ewan to be able to carry out a variety of work activities when needed. This also keeps him interested in his role within the business and wanting to learn more.”

3. Increase retention and recruitment

Woman standing outside wearing a grey jacket with yellow DBCP logo

Lucy Jones, DBCP, Level 3 Business Administrator Apprentice

Apprenticeships can be studied at different ages, and by people from all backgrounds and experience levels. If you choose to hire an apprentice, you can benefit and build on the skills they already have developed through a previous role or the soft skills they have developed at school.

Apprenticeships are helping DBCP to tackle the building control industry’s skills shortage, says David Pratt: “DBCP’s robust apprenticeship programme provides hands-on training, qualifications and accreditations and is helping us to attract local young people to both DBCP and building control.”

The chance to progress within a company is often a key reason for applying for an apprenticeship. Speaking about an apprentice, David says: “Lucy was attracted by the fact that we offer career progression as well as the opportunity to complete a degree level apprenticeship and build a long and rewarding career in the sector and, hopefully, within DBCP.”

Daniel Beech, Ringwood Hall‘s Spa Manager agrees, saying: “People who start their career on an apprenticeship are more likely to stay on in the industry after their apprenticeship. This highlights how fundamental this initial learning and development is for both the business and the apprentice.”

Man in black suit sitting at a computer

Isaac Marbridge, BHP, Level 7 ACCA Chartered Accountant Apprentice

By putting time and effort into supporting an apprentice, you will often gain their loyalty. Jayne Sibley, HR Manager at BHP, says: “Apprenticeships are an excellent way of improving productivity and retention. They develop existing employees’ skills and qualifications. Apprenticeships also offer a more accessible path into professional roles for those at the beginning of their careers.”

Chesterfield Borough Council’s Skills Delivery Officer, Emily Williams, has found the same, saying of Max Denton who has recently secure a permanent position as Skills Delivery Assistant: “Max has been invaluable during his apprenticeship and justly deserves his recent promotion. The apprenticeship has provided additional support and co-ordination that has increased the productivity and effectiveness of the team.”

Two young women sitting at laptops in an office with a view out the window

Abi Dodd and Demi Walker, Rosewood Wealth Management, Level 3 Business Administrator Apprentices

Speaking about the success they have seen from taking on their apprentices, directors of Rosewood Wealth Management, Shannan Pool-Gorman and Donna Robertson, said:

“Abi and Demi have proved integral to the continued success of the company. Providing important administrative support for the team, Abi and Demi’s willingness to learn ensures they can adapt to the changing needs of the business. Embarking on her first job within financial services, Abi’s role as Apprentice Business Administrator sees her bring a fresh perspective to a career in the industry.”

Woman with blonde hair and young boy attaching a model to a washing line in a classroom

Beth Edley, Work-wise, Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprentice

Emily Woods, Sales, Marketing & Projects Executive at Work-wise, feels that by working with training providers, apprentices stay up to date with new ideas, which can be brought to your business. She said:

“Fuelled by insights from our training provider, our apprentice Beth introduces innovative digital marketing techniques. This ensures we stay ahead in the digital landscape. She sparks creativity, offering innovative solutions for programmes, events, and marketing strategies, through the exchange of ideas between academia and real-world experiences.”

Two women sitting at a table with one painting the others' nails

Kodi Cooper, Ringwood Hall Hotel & Spa, Level 2 Beauty Therapy Apprentice

Ringwood Hall‘s Spa Manager, Daniel Beech, agrees. He says:

“Collectively we find that when we hire an apprentice, it energises our whole team. The apprentice’s passion to learn new skills, their interest in day-to-day operations of the spa and enthusiasm to learn new treatment techniques is gratifying. I feel that apprentices bring a fresh perspective of new techniques and trends within the constantly growing and developing spa industry that they are learning themselves at college.”

While it can be easy to get stuck in old and outdated practices, Ryan Fish, Associate Director at Whittam Cox Architects, believes that an apprentice can often spot this and is in a unique position to point out and challenge ways of doing things. He says:

“By integrating contemporary learning with software, staying updated on modern practices, and emphasising sustainability in university, apprentices can challenge and advance the way we approach our core architectural service offer.”

4. Build confidence through in-depth knowledge

Young man in a hard hat sitting on a roof

Dalton Roofing, Wesley Brown, Level 2 Roofing Apprentice

Apprenticeships are a brilliant way to upskill your workforce, regardless of their experience level. Wesley Brown had 3 years of experience in roofing before studying an apprenticeship with Dalton Roofing. His colleagues said:

“Wesley has just completed his apprenticeship in Roofing Slating & Tiling Level 2, which he excelled at, passing with distinctions. He was even entered for a competition at college for slater of the year.”

Woman sitting behind a computer screen, talking on the phone while writing in a notepad

Amy Facer, Fairplay, Level 2 Business Administration Apprentice

This highlights the value of taking an apprenticeship at any age, not just at the beginning of a career. As well as developing practical skills, studying an apprenticeship can help with confidence in a role. Nikki at Fairplay reflects on the journey of one of its apprentices:

“The change seen in Amy in terms of confidence and competency is just amazing!  Amy has flourished within her role as receptionist, so as soon as her apprenticeship was complete, we offered her employment. We just couldn’t imagine Fairplay being the same place without her.”

Young man standing in a playground with a wheelbarrow

Josh Nicholls, Chatsworth, Level 2 Animal Care and Welfare Assistant

Similarly, the HR department at Chatsworth has seen the confidence of apprentice Josh Nicholls soar after undertaking an apprenticeship.

“It has been a privilege to see Josh grow in confidence from a quiet shy individual to a confident and capable member of the team. Although Josh barely spoke when he first joined us and had very little experience in a workplace, he now will stand up in front of a group of visitors and deliver instructions to several hundred people at events.”

Woman in a salon drying another woman's hair

Chanelle Wallace, MD Hair, Level 2 Hairdressing Apprentice

Michelle Dalman at MD Hair has found that her apprentice, Chanelle, has also become a confident, integral part of the team. Michelle said:

“Chanelle is very ambitious and a credit to our growing team. She is always willing to try new things. She will step out of her comfort zone to grow and learn new skills.”

5. Get more for your money

Three men stood having a conversation

Max Denton, Chesterfield Borough Council, Level 4 Project Manager Associate

Did you realise how cost-effective apprenticeships can be? If you hire an apprentice, you won’t only benefit in all the other ways we’ve listed – you’ll also be getting a great deal! Chesterfield College‘s Shaun Wheatcroft says:

“Apprenticeships are a cost-effective way to recruit and train new talent. The government pays a £1000 grant for taking on a 16–18-year-old apprentice. Taking on someone over 18? You’ll pay as little as £500 for a Content Creator apprentice.”

Have you been inspired to hire an apprentice? Find guidance over on the Apprentice Town webpages, including funding available to you and a list of local apprentice providers which can support your recruitment and training.

Esther Hurst-Davis

Email Esther
Max Denton -CBC

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