Recent months have seen record numbers of job vacancies advertised in the UK. According to the Office of National Statistics, there were a total of 835,000 vacancies advertised in May to July, higher than any other period in the last 10 years. Whilst this is great news for job seekers, it does present employers with a significant challenge: skills shortages.
According to the British Chambers of Commerce, “The recruitment difficulties faced by firms go well beyond temporary bottlenecks and with many facing an increasing skills gap, staff shortages may drag on any recovery”.
In addition to difficulties in recruiting people with the right skillsets, employers are also facing the challenge of retaining their talent. Forbes have described attrition rates that are through the roof. A global Microsoft study found that nearly half of the people they spoke to were considering leaving their employer this year.
These challenges mean that employers must be creative in their approach to recruitment, and forward-thinking and proactive in their approach to employee engagement and skills development.
And apprenticeships may just be the solution.
Firstly, apprenticeships can form a valuable part of your recruitment strategy, helping you to attract a greater pool of applicants. In this current candidate market, many people are looking for opportunities to gain qualifications and develop themselves, not just a 9-5 job. Apprenticeships allow you to offer your new recruits a recognised qualification and skills development that they will continue to benefit from throughout their career, whilst they work for you.
Secondly, apprenticeships can lower your costs. The average apprentice costs £2,305 to hire, which is £2,400 cheaper than the average graduate hire (Institute of Student Employers). Here at Damar, we offer a free recruitment service where we advertise your vacancy, screen candidates and organise interviews for you. And with apprentices staying with their employer longer, on average, than graduate recruits, it reduces the likelihood that you will be incurring additional recruitment costs for a replacement in the next few years.
Thirdly, apprenticeships are a great employee engagement tool for your existing staff. They have been proven to increase staff retention, loyalty and commitment, and not just for the individuals undertaking the training, but across the whole organisation. Offering training to your team shows that you are an employer who wants to invest in your people and who values the contribution that they make to your organisation.
Finally, apprenticeships can provide the vital support and development that your managers need. In our series of The Future of Work events, we’ve been talking about the challenges that managers are facing as we come out of lockdown – hybrid models of working, managing remote workers, staff shortages, increased responsibilities and skills atrophy are just some of the issues that we’ve highlighted. You can watch our interview with Jim Cassell, former Youth Academy Director at Manchester City Football Club to find out his views on how to manage talent and our panel discussion with Hannah Beko and Liese Lord on how to plan your roadmap. Our level 3 team leader / supervisor and level 5 operations / departmental apprenticeships are expertly-designed programmes which will help your managers become more effective in their roles, which will also bring additional improvements to your organisation’s recruitment and retention.
If you want to find out more about how apprenticeship training can help your business build back better, get in touch with us today.