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Does employing an apprentice cost your company money?
In my experience, no.
Now that doesnâ€™t mean thereâ€™s no cost involved. Let me explain.
Most of us are now aware of the funding structure that pays for the apprentices training. In short if youâ€™re an apprenticeship levy paying company, a company with a payroll of over Â£3 million a year, the cost of delivery comes from your levy pot. If youâ€™re a non-levy paying company, you will pay a 5% contribution towards the cost of the training with 95% funded.
I know thatâ€™s brief but your preferred training provider can guide you through the detail.
Going back to my original question, does employing an apprentice cost your company money? I still believe the answer to be no.
As an apprentice, erm, a few of years ago, my role was to both learn new skills on the job working alongside skilled people as well as attending day release to gain the underpinning knowledge & supplement my skills development.
My apprenticeship was in Fabrication and Welding, and my time on the job included supporting a skilled person, fetching & carrying tools & equipment, and completing the tasks that I could be left to do as an unskilled person.
This wasnâ€™t cheap labour, rather it was embedding the basic skills needed and building on these as I gained more experience and practical ability.
As I assisted a skilled person, I quickly realised that by undertaking these basic roles we increased the speed in which we completed our work, becoming more efficient and productive as a team.
I learned that sweeping up and maintaining a clean work area was as important as measuring correctly and setting out accurately. I learned that by fetching and carrying it helped me learn to identify different tools and equipment and what theyâ€™re used for, the most effective tools for a particular task and the importance of looking after and maintaining tools and equipment.
I learned that skills development is incremental and although mistakes and accidents are inevitable, they were minimised when I listened to instructions and followed process, but I also learned that my role as an apprentice was highly valued by the company employing me and those skilled people supporting me, and that even in the early weeks and months of being an apprentice, I was a valued team member that positively contributed to the work we completed whilst being an essential part of the succession plan.
I learned through experience that apprentices do cover their own costs and add value and a fresh dynamic to your company, preserving your values and skills for future generations.
I still rely on the embedded skills and disciplines I learned as an apprentice and I value the opportunity I now have to share what Iâ€™ve learned with apprentices today.
I hope you have a great week