Apprenticeships

The benefits of an apprenticeship

01

Emma Robinson, Commercial Director and Employer Engagement for Apprenticeships and Short Courses at Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA)

07 February 2022 

SEE invited me to write a couple of guest articles for National Apprenticeship Week 2022. For this blog I am going to focus on the question I am asked most often – what are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships week logo

But first let me tell you little bit about what I do.In my current role at BCA I am focus on Apprenticeships in the Landbased Sector covering, Golf Greenkeeping, Arboriculture, Agriculture, and floristry. Horticulture including, Groundsmen, Gardeners, Estate workers, Nursery workers, Landscapers, and Sports Turf. Part of my role is to meet with employers to discuss apprenticeship schemes to see if it could work for them and start the recruitment process. Working in the area of apprentices means I am regularly asked how they can be of benefit in any and all types of business, from typical office work, healthcare, hospitality, right through to Landbased industry.

BCA logo

Did you know?

Apprentices can be of any age from 16 and above.

When we talk about apprentices people often conjure up an image in their mind of a young, fresh out of school teenager, but it is vital to remember Apprentices can be of any age from 16 and above. In fact, Apprenticeships can be the perfect option for those who want a career change, or those who would like to upskill in their current job.

An apprentice being instructed on how to trim a hedge
A young man sat at a desk looking at a laptop, with a lady bent over his shoulder
An apprentice carries a roll of turf

The Benefits of Apprenticeships for business

Apprenticeships can have many benefits not only to the individual applying which I will cover later, but also for the business they apply to, the list below is what I often present as the benefits to employers:

An apprenticeship is a tried and true method of recruiting and maintaining talent.
At BCA we carry out regular reviews with both the apprentice and the employer to make sure all is running smoothly and, if not, we will help work out a plan to assist the apprentice or in some cases the employer.

Apprentices follow new and updated safety performance, greater overall productivity, and make fewer mistakes.
Apprentices are trained to the most recent industry Health and Safety requirements and updates. In turn they bring these back to your team.

Apprentices learn from their employers how business is conducted first hand.
They are trained on the job. They learn from existing employees and gain practical skills directly from the team they are working alongside. Most providers will provide theory sessions, such as we do at BCA for one day a week. The apprentices learn the skills, knowledge and behaviours both in the workplace and at college.

Make the most of Government funding.
If you are a levy payer, you are already paying an apprenticeship tax which is set aside for you to use to pay for apprenticeship training.  Don’t waste it! If it’s not used you lose it. If you are a non-levy payer then take advantage of the massive Gov support. For example, our Horticultural apprenticeship is £5000 banding if you are a levy payer. A Non levy only pays 5% of the specific apprenticeship banding as an employer contribution fee..

£1000 incentive payment to the employer for any apprentices aged 16 – 18 years-of-age.
Or for learners aged 19 – 24 with an education, health and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority.

Free recruitment service,
Save on the cost of recruiting as you can advertise through an Apprenticeship Provider for free. At BCA we complete the entire recruitment process on an organisations behalf, even writing the advert. We use the Governments ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ site to advertise as well as social media platforms and websites.

Motivate your employees
Apprenticeships are an excellent way to recruit on a tight budget. One of the most significant benefits for employers and staff is that they help bring in new talent and skills thus helping to motivate current employees in the workplace. Most employees are delighted to see new fresh talent taking an interest in their industry. One hidden benefit is apprentices will bring back new and updated ways and ideas of doing things, helping to keep a team motivated and refreshed.

Workplace loyalty
Given the opportunity most apprentices will prefer to stay with their employer long after the apprenticeship scheme has finished which means you do not have to start a recruitment drive again. Another benefit is that often our clients use the old apprentice to train up a new apprentice as they understand the schemes keeping that circle of training and improving skills going.

Benefits for Apprentices

The benefits to employers are of course important, but equally (if not more so) are the benefits to the apprentice themselves…

Earn while you learn
Get paid to study and do a job that you love with skilled mentors. Most employers will pay above the national min wage rate for apprentices as they value your skills. We see many of our employers increasing salaries as the more skilled you become. You get holiday pay too as with any employee.

Receive recognised qualifications
This is real work experience in a paid job and with an Apprenticeship Standard qualification at the end of it. You even get the opportunity to gain English and Maths certificates for Functional Skills so everyday Maths and English and not a retake of GCSE’s if you don’t have exemption. Some can even include qualifications to degree level.

Gain independence and respect
Learn how to conduct yourself in the workplace, gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to progress your career. Gain pride in your work and your achievements.

Benefit from ongoing and personalised support in the workplace and from a provider
You will be assigned an provider assessor who will be there to support you and carry out reviews and welfare checks throughout the scheme. An assessor is always on-hand to provide expert advice and to guide you through your apprenticeship standard. Don’t forget your colleagues are great to learn from too!

Gain real work experience
Apprenticeships allow you to gain that all important ‘work experience’ that employers are often looking for on a CV. 

Improve your employability
Not only do you gain those valuable practical skills to do your job day-to-day, don’t forget about those hidden transferable skills that employers love to hear about….communication skills, following instructions, team work, using common sense, using initiative, using machinery correctly and safely….and more. Turning up to work on time – demonstrating your reliability is essential for an employer.

Develop your skills
The apprenticeship allows you to hone your skills and learn how to carry out tasks day-to-day. You’ll know how to behave correctly and professionally in the workplace. You can work in a team or independently and in a real life situation away from school or college.

Discover your earning potential
Once you have achieved your apprenticeship standard you now have something to prove that you are trained to industry spec.

Please feel free to contact me on [email protected] if I can assist you with your apprenticeships or training needs

If you would like to find out more about our apprenticeships at BCA, please email us on [email protected]

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