Summer’s here… and it’s the best time of year to recruit an apprentice!

Apprenticeship recruiters

Do you have senior colleagues spending too much time on administrative tasks?

Is there a succession plan in place for colleagues approaching retirement?

Are you short of time to manage a recruitment process?

Do you worry that you won’t have enough time or money to train new staff?

These are challenges facing many small and medium-sized businesses. With a fresh wave of students about to finish exams and leave education over the next month or so, now may be the perfect time to address these issues by recruiting an ambitious, talented apprentice.

The benefits

The apprenticeship levy, which is paid by larger companies only, has meant less publicity about the benefits of apprenticeships for smaller businesses. That’s a shame, as the business and financial benefits to non-levy payers are significant:

  • Training costs are 100% funded for apprentices under 22 (5% contribution for older apprentices)
  • £1,000 grant for employing an apprentice aged under 19
  • No employer’s national insurance contributions on apprentice salaries for under 25s.

Many apprenticeship providers also offer a free recruitment service. And all programmes include at least six hours a week of tailored training and coaching for your colleague to ensure they build the skills your business needs.

Offering an apprenticeship can:

  • Introduce fresh talent and ideas to your business
  • Align training to your business needs
  • Boost staff loyalty and motivation.

Studies show that because of apprenticeships:

  • 80% of employers report higher staff retention
  • 92% of employers see a boost in workforce motivation and satisfaction.

Source: UK Gov.

Customers and partners value organisations that invest in their local communities via apprenticeships.

So, what do you need to consider before you start?

Choose an apprenticeship provider

The Government’s find apprenticeship training site is a good resource, but it’s also worth speaking to other businesses that you trust. With nearly 700 different apprenticeships available, there’s an apprenticeship for most job roles. However, bear in mind that most entry level jobs tend to be fairly broad – apprentices often progress to more specialist higher level and degree apprenticeships after a year or two. Speak to two or three different providers before you decide.

Damar Training specialise in business and professional skills and have been helping businesses recruit and train apprentices for over 40 years. Most of our newly recruited apprentices are training for roles in administration, finance, customer service, legal and travel consultancy.

Sabina Adam and Lina Semcenko (pictured above) in Damar’s recruitment team, work with hundreds of employers every year. Here are some of their tips for success:

Review your recruitment package

How appealing is your overall recruitment offer? To attract the best candidates, you need to make the job offer for apprentices just as appealing as you would do for any other role. Think about the following:

  • Is there an attractive salary?
  • What are the other employee perks and benefits?
  • What progression opportunities will there be?
  • Can they get experience within different teams and departments?
  • Can you demonstrate a positive company culture and strong ethical values?

Communicate well

Sabina and Lina will advertise your vacancy and market it to their existing pool of candidates. They also shortlist candidates and will help you to arrange interviews. To attract a wide as possible range of applicants, use your website and local networks too. See if colleagues can spread the word on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Use your provider for advice and guidance

Sabina said: “We have many years’ experience in apprenticeship recruitment and we pride ourselves on delivering an outstanding recruitment service for our partner-employers. It’s wider than simply recruitment though – we also provide guidance on salary and how to make your role as attractive as possible.

“We can advertise roles, screen candidates for any necessary criteria, provide a shortlist and arrange interviews.

“The added value service we provide also includes ways to improve the vacancy description to make it more attractive to applicants, as well as supporting candidates through the interview process to make sure that they present the best version of themselves at the interview.”

How Damar helps employers  

Manchester-based FDM Solicitors is an employer that has benefited from Damar’s apprenticeship recruitment and training:

Rebecca Jordan, Relationship Manager at FDM Solicitors, said: “For the past two years, our collaboration with Damar Training, responsible for the onboarding of apprentices, has been a smooth and productive experience.

“Throughout our journey, from the first consultation to the eventual placement, Damar Training has consistently showcased professionalism, efficiency and an unwavering dedication to aligning the perfect match for our organisation.

“Damar Training’s communication throughout the process has been excellent, providing updates and feedback, which greatly contributed to a smooth and transparent recruitment journey.

“Another highlight was the quality of candidates they sourced. Each individual brought unique strengths and experiences to the table, showcasing Damar Training’s ability to identify impressive candidates within the industry.

“Overall, I couldn’t be happier with Damar Training’s recruitment services. They exceeded our expectations in every aspect and played a pivotal role in helping us build a strong team for the future. I would highly recommend Damar Training to any organisation seeking reliable and results-driven recruitment solutions.”

If you’re interested in recruiting an apprentice with Damar, or have existing colleagues who could benefit from apprenticeship training, please get in touch.