Recruiting Apprentices and Attracting Young Workers
Recruiting Apprentices and Young People - Wurkplace Blog

Recruiting Apprentices and Attracting Young Workers

We believe that recruiting apprentices is a perfect way for businesses to develop their workforce in line with company values. But it offers many more benefits. In today’s blog, we will be going into the benefits for employees and employers of apprenticeships, and giving you necessary tips on recruiting apprentices and attracting young talent. While apprentices are valuable in every sector, we will be using the manufacturing sector to illustrate our points – So let’s start.

Firstly, investing in the future of manufacturing is vital to the UK economy. With restrictions beginning to ease, despite the predictions for growth in manufacturing, the industry is facing a skills gap. The Open University revealed recently, that 63% of UK businesses are experiencing a skills gap, and 68% are unable to find suitable candidates for their open vacancies. Recruiting apprentices could play a pivotal role in ensuring that the manufacturing sector gets back on its feet, post COVID, providing, a cost-effective method of attracting and training exciting young talent. In the UK, the manufacturing industry currently supports 2.7 million people in employment and according to a report by CEBR for the National Apprenticeship Service, apprenticeships are forecast to contribute £3.4bn by 2022.

Benefits of Apprenticeships For the Employer

Usually, an initial lack of technical skills is the main driver of recruitment problems. However, attracting talent through apprenticeships, could introduce a fresh mix of skills, training, and technical knowledge to your company. Many manufacturers are keen to take on graduates and people with both academic and vocational skills, strengthening their skillset and introducing more diversity into their business

A key benefit to employers is that government offer incentive payments and monies to cover the training costs, supporting employers to hire new apprentices. Learn more from the government’s website.

The training programme though the apprenticeship scheme can be personalised to your requirements. 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation and 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity.


Benefits For the Employee

Manufacturing apprentices (and apprentices in general) gain invaluable hands-on experience by working with an established employer. This includes an introduction to taking responsibility, accountability, as well as learning trade skills from experienced colleagues.

Apprenticeships offer a much higher level of support than regular jobs, and your employers will be there to help guide them through their career journey.

Ben Rowland, Director of Government & Public Services at AVADO, has recently penned an article for FE News on the “£100k gap” between university students and apprentices. The £100k is made up of the £50k it typically costs to become a university graduate and the £50k that an apprentice might typically earn in the same period. It is this cost gap, along with the saturation of degrees, that has seen a devaluing of university degrees, leading more and more young people to opt for going straight into work. Therefore, getting paid to learn & gain industry-recognised qualifications is an attractive proposition.

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, employees will be able to demonstrate their expertise to employers thereby improving their employability.


How Do You Attract The Young Talent?


Consider your resourcing strategy

According to UKCES, organisations often rely on informal recruitment processes, such as peer recommendation, to fill vacancies. However, this can place young people, at a disadvantage. A fairer way to find talent is to approach local schools, colleges and youth centres, or work with existing school engagement programmes to ethically source candidates. Some training providers, have in-house recruitment teams that specialise in sourcing, screening and supporting young people.

Other options could be to use video CVs and other digital recruitment methods that closely align with what young people use every day.

To maximise the chances of a running a mutually successful apprenticeship scheme, a greater degree of thought and commitment is needed prior to onboarding. A robust plan of support and assistance with clear milestones and a defined skills progression pathway is needed. Manufacturing businesses should carefully consider and construct a ‘unit’ of support for the apprentice involving, for example, HR, the line manager, training coaches and their onsite ‘buddy’.


What happens next?

Once the hire is made, the apprentice’s line manager is the person that will make or break that young person’s experience in their first job.

“Patient line managers are better placed to ask questions, actively listen, and to build a culture where people feel able to ask for further explanation,” writes Investors in People

This resonates strongly with young employees. Young hires may require more patience than usual. But with the right attitude and support, they can become integral to your organisation. It’s important to create an open an inclusive team culture, where your young hires feel comfortable to talk to the rest of their team too.

It’s important to think like a young person when creating job descriptions. Adults with work experience can read a job description and feel confident applying for a role where they only meet 60% of the requirements listed. However, a young person often lacks the confidence and experience to do that, and they can be put off from applying from the outset. To attract young talent, adapt description templates to reduce the number of requirements. Focus on the must-have qualities and skills.


Company perks

A great way to attract young people to apply for roles is to consider your ‘perk offerings’. Fun employee benefits like free breakfast, beer Fridays or team building days can make a difference, so it’s important to emphasise these in your job descriptions. The same goes for your workspace. If you have a nice site, communal areas, or canteen – Advertise it!


Promoting from within

Opportunities for internal promotions can be hugely motivational and it’s something that’s likely to attract young people to your company. Hearing from the interviewer that they were in the candidate’s shoes only a few years ago shows that there are lots of opportunities available within the organisation.

If you are considering recruiting apprentices through an apprenticeship scheme, or trying to hire young workers, our HR Consultancy would be pleased to provide you with appropriate support, in line with your values and commercial requirements. To talk with a consultant today, you can use our online form, or call us on: 0330 400 5490.


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