Why small businesses should consider apprenticeships

For a small business, taking on an apprentice can be a daunting prospect. Time, resource, and costs are all a precious commodity, but the business benefits are huge.

Apprenticeships are a great opportunity to fill skills gaps, bring a valuable new perspective and can help to improve productivity in the workplace. According to government statistics (https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/employers/benefits-of-hiring-apprentice), 86% of employers said that apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation and 76% said that taking on an apprentice helped them improve productivity.

The Honey Pot Day Nursery received funding from BCRS and has taken on two, Level 3, Early Years Educator apprentices.

“As a small business employing 15 members of staff, an apprenticeship scheme has been a great way for us to build a talent pipeline for the future, as well giving people, regardless of age, the opportunity to earn whilst they learn. Lianne Saad owner of Honey Pot Day Nursery said.

“We have two apprentices, one 18 years old and the other 37 years old. Both apprentices, are at very different stages of life. One joined us straight from school and the other from a completely different field of work. It’s been a joy to watch both apprentices, come into their own and find their feet within the early years sector.

Ashley Taylor (left) and Sarah Hancock (right), apprentices at The Honeypot Day Nursery

“Without apprenticeship schemes, the elder of the two, would have found it a challenge to switch from one profession to another. Unfortunately, outside the realms of apprenticeships, the opportunities are just not as readily available for those aged 25+. Therefore, as an employer, I am grateful that these schemes are open to all ages.

“The apprentices have helped to bring a fresh enthusiasm to the setting. They have been able to use their past experiences, to enhance their day-to-day practice.

“Watching our apprentices learn, gain on-the-job experience, build relationships and flourish in their new surroundings has been an absolute tonic and I feel privileged to be part of shaping their future.”

National Apprenticeship Week takes place between 6 and 12 February 2023 and celebrates the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider community.

This year’s theme ‘Skills for Life’ will reflect on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career and help businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with skills for the future.

BCRS Business Loans Head of Marketing and Impact James Russell added: “Regardless of the size of your business, apprenticeships are a great opportunity to bring a valuable new perspective and generation of ideas to a business.

It’s great to hear of businesses like The Honey Pot Day Nursery who are investing in the workforce of the future.”

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