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The importance of apprenticeships

Wed 10th Feb 21

Apprenticeships are probably one of the oldest forms of bringing people into work with the exact set of skills needed for an organisation and industry. And taking on apprentices has great benefits for businesses, bringing job satisfaction for all involved.

At Ryan’s, we’ve been sharing the benefits of apprenticeship schemes for many years, and we’re big believers in them. Our apprentices make us proud, as a company and as individuals, and remind us of the experience and expertise we have to contribute. What do the benefits of apprenticeships really look like, though – to a business, to managers, and to the apprentice themselves? Executive Chair, Tim Ryan, elaborates:

Benefits to business – skills matching and brand value

When appointing into your business, sometimes you need to recruit for experience, while other times your search will be for a fresh pair of hands – for someone who will bring new ideas to your business, while also coming in without any preconceived ideas about how your industry works.

This is where an apprentice is a great investment. Indeed, government statistics reveal that 74% of employers say that apprentices improve products or service quality. And 78% say they improved productivity, probably because apprentices become highly skilled in the right ways of working for your business even before they finish their training.

Employing apprentices is also a great way of showing your business to be caring – it’s good for your corporate social responsibility (CSR) and it’s a great way of diversifying your workforce, bringing in young people with fresh takes on the status quo. In fact, 67% of employers say that employing apprentices improves their image in their sector.

Benefits to your people – engaging for productivity

It’s not just your management team who will be involved with your apprentice and every staff member is likely to engage with them in some way. And for that reason, apprentices can help to achieve overall staff morale and engagement, allowing everyone to feel that they can contribute to the apprentice’s knowledge. Better engagement results in better productivity for all and in fact Gallup found that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability.

What’s more, in the government study on the benefits of taking on apprentices, it was found that 69% of employers said that employing apprentices improved staff retention. Great food for thought!

Benefits for your apprentice – building a career into the future

Of course, without doubt in an increasingly competitive working arena, the benefits of apprenticeship schemes must be most advantageous for the apprentice themselves. While apprenticeships can often be associated with trades, such as plumbing, electrical or building work, they are available across a range of industry sectors, including insurance.

Apprentices benefit from a foot in the door and hands-on experience in their chosen field, training while also being paid. And for most apprentices, they’ll get that training from colleagues who are truly invested in their development, with a wealth of mentors at the ready.

Of course, gaining that experience to add to a CV is valuable, but in fact many apprentices – 65% according to the same government report – stay working for the company that trained them after they complete their apprenticeship.

At Ryan’s we’ve enjoyed bringing on all of our apprentices, as can be seen from the case study on Charlie Smith, who is now starting his level 4, fast-tracking him through his DipCII. And we are now enjoying the experience again as we start our latest apprentices, Lily and Lauren, on their journey through a career in insurance broking. More news on their progress soon!

Charlie Smith