Apprenticeship Q&A

06.11.2019

Why apprenticeship schemes are important to a business

At CPiO, we strive to give our staff the highest quality training and support throughout their time in our business. In the last two years CPiO has introduced a number of apprentices into the company. Apprenticeships aren’t just for finding new young talent; existing staff can also take advantage.  Apprenticeships can be used for succession planning providing employees with the necessary skills and knowledge of solutions such as Sage 200 and Sage X3 to fulfill the roles of employees nearing retirement, for example. We interviewed CPiO’s HR Officer to get her views on apprenticeship schemes and how they can benefit a business.

What benefits does the company see by employing an apprentice?

There are quite a few advantages for the company in regards to employing an apprentice. Firstly, it can help us to fill skills-gaps that we have within the business. Specifically in areas where there are very particular skills lacking in the market place.By investing in individuals in the short term, it ultimately helps us in the long term. It also helps a good deal with staff retention, showing a good example to new employees because having an apprentice stay with the business for a long time, demonstrates that we offer a great working environment and we employ staff who are respectful and supportive. One big advantage of employing an apprentice is that it helps us gain very specific skill sets, due to the training that’s available throughout the duration of the apprenticeship scheme.

Why is an apprenticeship scheme so important to CPiO and the Sage market?

I think for a business to be healthy, it’s important to have a mixture of different age ranges and different skills within the organisation. We’ve got a lot of people who work here that have a lot of experience and knowledge. However, these people will be eventually retiring. So now is a good time for us to be getting some new people on board. We have the time to train them up as well as providing them with the opportunity to learn from those close to retirement.

How might an organisation prepare to take on an apprentice?

The organisation needs to have a specific role for the individual to do. The apprentice spends 80% of their time working in the organisation, whilst 20% of their time is spent at the college studying. Therefore, it’s important that they have an actual job to fulfill. It’s also important for someone in the organisation to mentor and coach them on the job whilst they’re in the workplace. There should also be some form of development plan so that, the apprentice knows what is expected over the duration of the course. The apprenticeship can last 15 – 18 months. However, they may then choose to progress to the next level of apprenticeship upon completion of their first level.

Where can organisations find out more about apprentices?

There are lots of training organisations who can provide you with the information required. Providers within your local area can be found by searching the government website. Apprenticeship roles seem to be constantly developing, and are becoming more specific to certain industries and to certain job roles. This is a key factor to bare in mind when undergoing your search. Doing your research on the college is very beneficial too, because  not only will they will be providing the training, they will also be supporting the business. It’s of great benefit that the organisation acts the recruiter by sourcing the right apprentice for your role.

Is the process of bringing on an apprentice complicated or straightforward?

It’s quite a straightforward process to bring on an apprentice. However, the first time you go through the process you may not be too sure in regards to what you should expect. If you’ve chosen a good provider then they will guide you through the process and provide support where necessary.

What can CPiO offer an apprentice throughout the duration of their course?

We offer our apprentices lots of support and training throughout the duration of their course. We give them study time to complete college work and prepare for upcoming exams and a tailored program for on the job learning. This gives them training specific to their job role. In turn we would hope that the individual will stay on with us to continue their learning and development, where they will have the opportunity to progress their career and potentially move into various roles within the company.

I believe that apprenticeships are a great way of employing young, talented individuals. It is a cost-effective way of training and investing in your staff. At the end of the apprenticeship, they receive a qualification which benefits not just them but the organisation too. At CPiO we will continue to employ apprentices in the future, taking advantage of the various apprenticeship levels, from A-level all the way up to a masters degree. I recognise that there are many types of training available.

For any organisation who are looking to bring on an apprentice, or train its current staff using an apprenticeship scheme, you can find out more information here.