Apprentices often get a bad press. For a business, particularly an SME with limited resources, the thought of taking on an apprentice can feel overwhelming. Employers often worry it will only create an overhead and struggle to see the benefits an apprentice can bring to the business.
At Switchstance we have experienced first-hand the true value of an apprentice and in honour of National Apprenticeship Week, here are five ways in which an apprentice can breathe life into your business:
#1. A fresh perspective
A young person, fresh from education, brings a fresh pair of eyes and is generally unaffected by business constraints. The simple yet challenging question why do you do it this way?” can highlight potential for process improvement that others who are ingrained in the business may not spot so easily.
#2. Technology is second-nature
This generation of school-leavers is unfazed by technology having grown up with the Internet and Social Media as everyday aspects of life. We found this invaluable when implementing a social media strategy. Researching the Internet for potential solutions is also second nature which creates a hands-on proactive approach; an asset to any team.
#3. Open to learning
Having come straight from education apprentices are generally open to learning coaching and mentoring. We certainly found in our personal experience that being given an apprenticeship opportunity particularly in such a difficult economic climate increased how eager and willing to learn our apprentice was.
#4. A new dynamic
The enthusiasm energy and adaptability of an apprentice brings a new dynamic to a team. We found the addition of this new element to our team particularly noticeable (and very welcome!) as a small business.
#5. Representing the customer of the future
Today’s youth are the future customers of the business and by using the knowledge that they bring to the workplace this can help with customising and targeting services and products and expanding business opportunities.
Switchstance are very proud to have received 2 awards at the “Apprentice Celebration Awards Event” in Sheffield. Emily Brownell Switchstance’s Marketing and Admin Officer was recognised for ‘Completion of Apprenticeship and Going onto Further Success’. As a business Switchstance was recognised for ‘Commitment to Developing Sheffield’s Future Workforce.’
Somewhat fittingly during her time at Switchstance so far one of the projects Emily has been involved in is the creation of an online tracking system for Skills Made Easy a council apprenticeships programme.