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Busted! The top five myths around hiring an apprentice

I can’t afford to hire an apprentice! I don’t have time to find an apprentice! Apprentices aren’t a good fit for my line of work!

As part of our work on the Collaborative Apprenticeships project, we’ve heard a lot of reasons as to why SME employers don’t recruit apprentices, but many of these reasons are actually based on false presumptions, with employers still holding a lot of misconceptions around apprenticeships.

To help combat this, we’ve pulled together a list of the top five most common myths that we hear from employers when it comes to apprenticeships, to help make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to develop necessary skills, boost staff morale, and increase productivity, through introducing an apprentice into your business.

  1. Myth: Apprenticeships are expensive

What many business owners might not realise is that there is government funded support for employers to cover the costs of training apprentices. For some employers this can mean that 100% of their apprenticeship training costs are covered, depending on the size of the organisation. You can find out more about your funding eligibility here.

What’s more, free support is available from Calderdale College to help you understand your apprenticeship needs, as well as how you can fill skills gaps in your team through enrolling existing staff onto apprenticeships. This means you don’t have to spend valuable resources on external consultants to help identify what additional skills your business could benefit from.

  1. Myth: It’s time consuming to recruit an apprentice

It doesn’t have to be when you have the right support! For example, Calderdale College is here to help make the process of introducing apprenticeships as easy as possible, and does the legwork so that you don’t have to. This includes creating role descriptions, screening candidates, scheduling interviews and capturing employer feedback.

Calderdale College is even running dedicated Introduction to Apprenticeships and Introduction to the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) training sessions for employers who are looking at hiring apprentices for the first time, helping them to easily navigate the process of recruiting an apprentice and applying for funding.

  1. Myth: Apprenticeships don’t help businesses to grow

Apprentices bring a lot of value to your business. As part of the educational element of their apprenticeship programme, they learn lots of skills and knowledge while they’re at college, which they can then bring back and introduce into your business.

On top of this, apprentices can offer a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective, as well as an enthusiasm which can make a real difference to businesses. In fact, 74% of employers said that hiring apprentices has helped them to improve productivity, which is extremely important in fuelling business growth.

  1. Myth: You can only hire apprentices in September

It’s easy to think that you have to hire apprentices during the summer holidays, so that they’re ready to start in September. However, apprenticeships don’t always run in parallel with the academic year. You can hire an apprentice all year round, rather than only hiring in typical academic enrolment periods. This gives employers a lot more flexibility and means that you can look at introducing apprenticeships at the time when your business needs them most.

  1. Myth: You can only hire apprentices in manual industries

While this might have been the case in the past, many more industries now see the benefit of hiring apprentices, and better understand how apprenticeships can help businesses develop skills to future-proof their workforce. Whether it’s digital or education, HR or catering, no matter what your sector, Calderdale College can work with you to hire apprentices in the roles that will bring the most benefit to your business.

Don’t be led astray by false perceptions and miss out by on the benefits that apprenticeships can bring to your business. To find out more about whether you might be eligible for free training and support through the Collaborative Apprenticeships project, please visit https://www.calderdale.ac.uk/collaborative-apprenticeships/, or email [email protected].

The Collaborative Apprenticeships project is managed by the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC) and funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). Calderdale College is supporting the delivery of the project in partnership with local employers and training providers. Businesses can take advantage of the funding until June 2023.


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