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Introduction

Make the most of your apprentice

Apprentices bring a fresh perspective to your business – so grab the opportunity by the horns!

Make the most of your apprentice

Make the most of your apprentice

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If your business is taking on an apprentice for the first time, you're probably full of mixed emotions.

Welcoming a new member of the team is exciting, daunting and challenging - but it's also the perfect opportunity for you to perfect your teaching skills, boost staff motivation and create a fully qualified future employee.

It's a big leap for both you and your apprentice, but we think the government has the right attitude with their Get in, Go far campaign. This is a great slogan for young people across the company, and it's on the mark for employers too.

Apprenticeships bring a fresh new perspective to your business - increasing productivity by 89% and lowering recruitment costs by 75% - so you've got to grab the opportunity by the horns and make the most of your apprentice.

We know that's not as easy as it sounds, so here's our top ten tips to help you get started:

1. Welcome them with open arms

The world of work can be a scary place, so make sure you create a welcoming environment from day one. You don't need to throw a party, just a simple meet and greet will make them feel like part of the team.

2. Invest in their future

Your apprentice is going to grow into a major part of your team, so it's important to nurture their talent. Assign a teacher or mentor to help them throughout their training - it's guaranteed to pay off in the long run.

3.  Keep an eye on them

Apprentices don't want to be mollycoddled, but they may find it difficult to ask for help. Make sure your staff are approachable and have enough time to offer the guidance your trainee needs.

4. Be clear

This is a step into the unknown for both you and your apprentice, so make sure you set clear objectives. These can be discussed during the first few weeks and adapted throughout their course - whatever works for you!

5. Practice what you preach

Probably the most challenging advice of all, it's really important that you and your staff stick to the rule book and set a good example. It's a vital part of teaching - and it could reverse some of your bad habits too!

6. Track their progress

As the apprenticeship reforms come into action, monitoring your trainee's progress may become complex. With an online eportfolio, you can see how your apprentice is getting on from start to finish.

7. Listen up

A good old-fashioned catch-up will help build a strong bond between you and your apprentice. It's simple, just have an open ear and take the time to listen.

8. Role reversal

Apprentices bring enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to your company - so learn from them! Trade places with your trainee and let them teach you computer skills, new techniques or different methods.

9. Have fun

An apprenticeship is a job first and foremost, but it's also the perfect opportunity to meet new people, make friends and be social. Arrange some company events or team building activities to bring all your employees closer together.

10. Learn from the experience

Once you've been through the apprenticeship programme, reflect on what you've learnt and how you can improve next time around. 80% of employers say apprenticeships will play a big part in their future recruitment plans, and we're sure you'll feel the same too.

Apprenticeships are becoming more and more popular - and with the apprenticeship funding reforms coming into play next year, you'll soon have even more opportunities to bring new talent to your team. To find out more about the upcoming changes - from the levy to trailblazer standards - read our informative guides.