I never thought an Apprenticeship would be for me; I stuck to the system of studying hard and left college with all the grades that I needed to get into University. However, I was never 100% convinced… Did I want thousands of pounds of debt hanging over my head, and did I really want to commit three years of my life to a course that I might have ended up resenting? Was I planning to do a degree just because that’s what I felt was expected of me?
I decided to take a year out and work out what I really wanted to do… I worked in retail for a few months, and surprise – was made redundant! During this stuck-in-a-rut period of unemployment, I was browsing through jobs online when I came across an advert for a Business Administration Apprenticeship…
…Which eventually led to me being sat here at my desk at GML Consulting, writing this blog!
Taking a year out was the best thing I ever did – it made me realise that University isn’t mandatory and that earning my own money whilst continuing to learn was the best way to start my career. Of course it is always daunting when you start a new job (especially when it’s in an area of business you are unfamiliar with) but the support and guidance I received from everyone here at GML really helped me to progress and understand my role further.
• Growth and Training – Being an Apprentice within a company means that you aren’t just thrown in at the deep end – you receive quality training from your employer and get to know your area of the business inside-out. This means that as the company grows, you can grow with it. You could well find that you stay on with the company after the completion of your Apprenticeship!
• Flexibility – Most Apprenticeships are very flexible – not only can you choose which course options you take, but you can also see which area of the business you are most suited to. Your employer can see which areas of their business you could best adapt to and let you have opportunities to try out different things. Once your employer really gets to know you and your strengths, then they can place you in an area of the company where you will excel the most.
• Experience – The knowledge and experience gained from doing an Apprenticeship is second to none. For a lot of Apprenticeships you don’t need to have any experience in the sector you are interested in to apply for it. This is great if you want to start a career change and get your ‘foot in the door’ in an area you never thought you’d be able to before.
• Qualifications – It is always advantageous to have recognised qualifications when it comes to employment. Whether you already have good grades or not, a NVQ qualification is a great boost to your current grades or the perfect start to building your qualifications.
• Support – Not only do you get support from your Apprenticeship provider, but also from your employer and colleagues. People take you under their wing and steer you in the right direction, encouraging you to succeed along the way.
I could quite easily continue to list the benefits of being an Apprentice – I found everyone so helpful and easy to get on with, every member of staff really cares about what they do and the highest levels of care and passion are put into every project we take on. I feel I have found my place in the company, and am really proud to be part of the GML team! But it’s not all about how an Apprentice can benefit – there are so many reasons to hire an Apprentice that will benefit your business too…
The benefits of having Apprentices in your company:
• Developing a quality workforce – Hiring an Apprentice means that you can train them your way and guide them towards achieving realistic yet challenging goals. You can teach them your company values and ethics as well as how you work in general, which means your Apprentice will find it easier to find their individual place within your company and be able to work in the most effective and appropriate ways for your business to develop.
• Fresh ideas – It’s always good to have someone with new ideas and a different outlook on-board. Apprentices might not have the initial experience in your field of business but this is not a bad thing – They could pick up on things that would usually go unnoticed and come up with new ideas and approaches that might just be what your company needs.
• Staff Morale – Having a qualification to work towards is a brilliant incentive when it comes to boosting morale in the workplace. Not only will your Apprentice be motivated, but so will other members of staff – It can boost the morale of others if they take part in training an Apprentice or give them advice. When someone achieves because of you, this is extremely rewarding and helps to build workplace relationships as well as boosting staff morale in general.
• Loyalty – Apprentices commit themselves not only to completing a course, but more importantly, they commit themselves to your business. This commitment to learning the way your business works and how to best utilise their skills to transfer into your workplace, means that in most cases the Apprentice will stay loyal to your company and chose to stay on after they have completed their course.
Now you know how both candidates and businesses can benefit from Apprenticeships, you may wish to find out more… to do so, please visit www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships.