7 Feb, 2022
When it comes to apprenticeships, you’d be forgiven for thinking of school leavers, but you may be surprised to learn that the over 25’s account for the largest proportion of learners. Here’s why you should consider upskilling your existing workforce with an apprenticeship…
Retraining as an adult is difficult and for some, completely impossible. Adult learners often have other commitments like families to support, bills to pay or childcare issues. An apprenticeship offers a great way around this, providing an opportunity to earn while you learn. As part of this, you will gain practical experience in the workplace whilst gaining relevant qualifications to your industry.
Apprenticeships are available throughout the UK and have no maximum age limit. Adult apprenticeships have become increasingly popular in recent years. The latest statistics reveal that those over the age of 25 account for 38.3% of learners. This is compared to 30.9% of 19 to 24 year olds, and 30.8% of under 19’s.
Apprenticeships can even be used to upskill and retain your existing workforce; you don’t have to recruit a new apprentice.
Apprenticeships can last anywhere between 12 months and six years depending on the level studied. Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 to Level 7 (equivalent to a degree) so there’s lots of opportunities for your employees. During this time, employers need to allow at least 20% of their employees normal working hours for training and study.
You can find out more about funding and employing an apprentice on the National Apprenticeships website.
Developing your staff has a whole host of benefits. Here are just some of the benefits an apprenticeship can bring your organisation:
It Saves on Recruitment Costs
It’s no secret that training and retaining employees is much cheaper than recruiting and training someone from scratch. Additionally, when you do recruit, you are more likely to attract talent as it shows you are committed to your employee’s professional development and career progression.
They’ll Gain Knowledge Relevant to Their Role
Compared to school leavers, older apprentices have more experience and a wider range of skills that they can bring to your organisation. Helping them build on this ensures their skills don’t become obsolete. As part of their course, they will learn the latest best practices which they can apply to your organisation. This can give you a competitor advantage and help you stay ahead of the game.
You’ll Have Happier Employees
Investing in your employee’s development is known to make happier employees which will have a knock-on effect on your customer satisfaction levels. Training will also boost motivation, productivity, loyalty, and staff retention rates, particularly if they’re developing their skills over several years.
Trained and Skilled Staff Add Value
By acquiring new skills, your team’s contribution to the business will be increased whether that’s through improved customer service, better working practices or an increase in productivity.
Both of our current apprentices fall in to the ‘over the 25’s’ category and have found this way of learning beneficial for different reasons, here are their stories:
“It fits around family life”
Our Marketing Co-Ordinator, Jodie Purser is studying for a Degree in Digital Marketing:
“After falling into a new role, I made the decision to complete my CIM qualifications in marketing. This meant long days, spending my evenings either at college or studying. At the time, I had a toddler and another on the way and found it difficult to maintain a good work:life balance so made the decision to defer my final year until they were older.
During this time, I joined the team at ISO Quality Services who were aware of my ambition to complete my Level 6 ‘one day’. When a Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship came available, the business was fully supportive in helping me achieve this. I didn’t realise that degree apprenticeships were even available and couldn’t miss out on the opportunity. It’s allowed me to gain a qualification I wanted whilst having minimal impact on my family”.
“It’s allowed me to retrain”
Our Finance Assistant, Kara Dunn is studying for her AAT Level 2 in Accounting:
“I decided to take a career change later in my life and found that taking an apprenticeship was perfect for me. It’s allowed me to work full-time and learn new skills whilst also giving me a day at college to study. All the team have been supportive, and I can utilise my time for extra study sessions around my work diary.
Without the apprenticeship scheme, I don’t think I would have been able to study and work full time whilst balancing life commitments”.
HR Director, Debbie Farr adds: “At ISO QSL we’ve always championed employing apprentices, giving people the opportunity to train and work at the same time. With the increase in adult apprenticeships available, this has meant that our existing workforce have had the opportunity to also gain skills and qualifications, whilst also completing their day job. As a company, we place training and personal development of our staff at the forefront of what we do, and it has been a pleasure to see both Jodie and Kara excel in their chosen fields. I hope that we continue to be able to support apprentices and apprenticeships within our organisation for a long time to come”.
You can find out more about apprenticeships on the National Apprenticeships Website.
ISO Quality Services Ltd are proud to specialise in the implementation and certification of the Internationally recognised ISO and BS EN Management Standards.
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