Should You Hire an Apprentice?

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It can be a difficult decision for employers deciding whether or not they should take on an apprentice and whether it will be a good investment for the business. The word “apprentice” is defined as “a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages”. If we break down this definition, we can analyse the pros and cons of hiring an apprentice.

“A person who is learning a trade”

Statistics show that 56% of apprentices are between the ages of 16 and 24. People at this age will usually have less experience in the working world, as they may have recently left school or college. An apprenticeship is a great way to get into the working environment while still remaining in further education. They will gain the experience of full-time employment, while studying for a course of their choosing. Apprentices will usually start their new position with limited knowledge of the sector they are working in but most are eager to learn.

However, on the other side of the coin, employers may see this as a risk. Employing a new staff member with little to no experience may seem like a liability for the business. Hiring an apprentice is a luck of the draw, while some may be more willing to learn and develop their skills, others are only there because they “have to be”. This can usually be prevented early in the interview stages so problems like this will occur very rarely.

“Agreed to work for a fixed period”

Not every apprentice is the same. While some are eager to learn and will work their hardest for the business, there may always be those few who aren’t putting the effort in. That is why apprenticeships are usually agreed for a certain period of time, usually one or two years. After the apprenticeship period, employers have the choice to either hire them again as a proper member of staff or move on without them. Employers are not obliged to offer a job at the end of the apprenticeship. In extreme cases, the employer will be able to let the apprentice go before their time, but this would have to be discussed with the apprentice’s agency beforehand.

At low wages”

One of the key advantages that employers consider when taking on an apprentice is the decreased cost. Apprentice wages are significantly lower than the minimum wage for standard employees, with apprentice wages being around half of the minimum wage. Apprenticeship costs are decreased due to employers normally having to pay some money into providing the education required, but in some circumstances the government are willing to pay the education fees. Even with the initial education costs for a business, hiring an apprentice will still be cheaper overall.

Above are just some of the advantages and disadvantages of bringing an apprentice into a business. While there may be a risk that they may be unproductive, they may in fact help to progress. So to answer the question at the top of this page, should you hire an apprentice? That’s entirely up to you…

Harrison Smith

Social Media Executive

Written for the Dr. Mark D. Yates, the LinkedIn Expert’s Expert.

LBM Info

Social Media Expert

Harrison is the LBM social media executive as well as an apprentice training towards his Level 3 Diploma in Digital Marketing. Harry’s primary role is to look after the different social media accounts that LBM has other than LinkedIn. These include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram along with a few others. He makes sure that LBM frequently post useful updates for all followers to view and engage with. Harry also makes sure that any messages sent to LBM via these platforms are responded to quickly. Harry’s position also requires him to assist LBM Team Leaders generate leads for both LBM and our large range of clients.

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