Human Resources teams can play a big part in championing apprenticeships

Member Article

How Human Resources can champion apprenticeships

Research reported in the Daily Mail has revealed that graduates faced with high student debt and poor earning prospects could be better off skipping university and doing an apprenticeship. Because of the high costs of university, many bright young people will now be looking at apprenticeships as a route into a career. This is a pool of talent businesses should be ready to tap in to.

However, some businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may be reluctant to hire and train apprentices, maybe believing that they don’t have the time or money to invest in an apprentice scheme. Human Resources personnel can be the ones to counter arguments and show that the benefits outweigh the costs. Here’s how:

Show colleagues that apprentices can be a good option when they’re hiring, as they can be trained in exactly the skills needed

A viewpoint that has been expressed by business leaders is that students are leaving universities with degrees, but without the skills they need for roles in their organisations. With apprenticeships employers can be directly responsible for training their new employees and ensuring that they have exactly the skills the business needs.

Show how apprenticeships will allow the organisation to pass skills on from one generation of employees down to the next

Because they involve on the job, practical training, apprentices can be trained by members of staff who have years of experience. This allows existing employees to pass their skills down to the next generation.

Show how training an apprentice can provide existing employees with development opportunities for themselves

Training someone new can be the perfect opportunity for existing employees to develop, refreshing their skills, and giving them experience in mentoring others. Training apprentices can also encourage a culture of learning in your organisation, and show existing employees that they can continue to learn and upskill themselves.

Give career talks at schools outlining options

Apprenticeships can still often be seen as an entry method solely into manual occupations. A lack of knowledge about the wide range of apprenticeships can be countered by HR staff giving talks at local schools, advising students that university degrees are not the only way into top professions, and that through an apprenticeship they can access sectors including engineering, accountancy, and public relations.

Lucy Gregory is Human Resources Manager at AAT, an accounting and finance qualifications and membership body.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) .

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