How apprenticeships make sense for businesses

Aug 9, 2023 | Apprenticeships, Ladder News, News

Kevin Davis, chairman of the Ladder Foundation
The benefits for companies of taking on apprentices have been highlighted by the Ladder for Staffordshire.

Kevin Davis, chairman of the Ladder, explained how with schools now closed and with some school leavers undecided about what to do next, the marketplace is vibrant for offering apprenticeships.

Mr Davis said: “Taking on an apprentice comes with plenty of exciting benefits for businesses and can help them to fill skills gaps.

“There are a huge variety of standards to choose from, each designed to set out the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for an occupation.

“This means they’re responsive to the wants and needs of organisations – both now and in the future.

“Apprenticeships aren’t only suitable for bringing in new employees – they are also ideal to help businesses to upskill or retrain existing employees, of any age, and at any level.”

Mr Davis said that apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) right through to Levels 6 and 7 (equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree), and some may also offer additional professional qualifications, such as Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

He added: “The important thing is that the apprentice will develop new skills to help them succeed in their chosen occupation.”

One example of a successful apprentice is Charlie Dance, who initially joined Valyou Recruitment, a firm based in Burntwood, Staffordshire, that specialises in the construction industry, on a Kickstart programme in November 2021.

He did so well that he was taken on as a trainee payroll administrator in March 2022, and started a Level 2 Accountancy apprenticeship alongside that role in September.

Charlie, aged 23 and from Burntwood, was helped on his apprenticeship by Performance Through People (PTP).

He said: “When the option to do a Level 2 Accountancy apprenticeship at Valyou arose, I jumped at the opportunity.

“I am handling invoicing and payroll to make sure that our workers are paid correctly and on time, plus I work on our internal database, finding ways to efficiently present and find information as well as keeping it up to date and relevant.

“So far it’s been the perfect blend between on-the-job experience and in-class learning, and being able to see the progress I’ve made since I started is really encouraging.”

Jason Challoner, managing director of Valyou, added: “Charlie is doing really well in his role and has definitely benefited from his apprenticeship, supported by PTP.”

Results for the 2022/23 year show that under 19s accounted for 24.8% of the overall number of people starting their apprenticeships.

Advanced apprenticeships accounted for 43.2% of starts (119,170) whilst higher apprenticeships accounted for 34% of starts (93,970), a 6.1% increase on the previous year.

Whether you are an employer or an individual, anyone still undecided should visit www.ladderforstaffordshire.co.uk or email apprenticeships@ladderforstaffordshire.co.uk.

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