Davy Doyle, office manager for Newry Jobs and Benefits Office in DEL’s Employment Service has offered local employers advice on how apprenticeships can turn young talent into commercial success for business. Seven key areas have been identified. “Some employers new to apprenticeships may not realize that one way to build solid foundations for the future is by employing apprentices,” said Mr Doyle. “There are numerous advantages of recruiting new people into your business and apprenticeships now cover more skills and sectors than ever before including pilot higher apprenticeships in engineering, professional sciences and ICT.” Firstly he advises that most businesses report improved productivity as a result of employing an apprentice. It can be thought of as adding strings to a business’s bow as an apprentice can be trained in a way which broadens the talent within an organization. Secondly employing apprentices can bring fresh ideas and innovation to businesses by bringing new ways of working into the workplace and motivating other members of staff. Thirdly employers can avail of the opportunity to develop a motivated skilled and qualified workforce and should be aware that most apprentices stay with the same employer after their apprenticeship ends. Fourthly apprentices can plug skills gaps for employers at all levels by developing the specialist skills that are required for their business and assisting them in keeping abreast of new technology. A fifth reason why apprentices are important is that for those under the age of 25 the full cost of the “off the job training” for the apprenticeship will be funded by DEL with an employer incentive for employers whose apprentices successfully complete DEL funded training. This ranges from £250 to £1500 depending on the age of the apprenticeship, complexity and level of the apprenticeship undertaken. Sixthly as well as benefiting individual companies employing apprentices has a positive impact on the wider economy with apprentices remaining in employment helping to build and maintain an active workforce and a better economy. Lastly employing an apprentice is cost affective for the employer. With the range of support and incentives available for the employer they can benefit from employing an individual who has enthusiasm motivation and loyalty since their apprentice is fully committed to the particular career path. Individuals and employers can find out more about apprenticeships by visiting www.nidirect.gov.uk/skills or by calling 0300 2007876.
4th August 2015