The 12th National Apprenticeship Week takes place 4th – 8th March 2019 and aims to highlight the benefits those ‘earning and learning’ can bring to businesses and the economy.

Apprenticeships are a structured training programme that teaches the skills and experience needed to complete a role whilst “on the job”. Studies have shown that over 80% of businesses that employed apprentices found their productivity had increased as a result.

All too often we hear negativity against taking on school leavers because they are not “work ready.” We also hear clients talking about “skills shortages” too and think that the Apprenticeship scheme could be the answer to these problems, whilst giving an opportunity to someone who is hungry to learn. By taking on an apprentice, you can tackle a skills shortage by training them to have the exact skills required for your business. It’s also an opportunity to give your current staff an opportunity to improve their training skills.

Many larger companies take on apprentices, but we think there are benefits to SMEs too. Firstly, it’s a very cost-effective way of training, because apprentices contribute to the workplace while they are learning. Another cost advantage for employers is that, while you are expected to pay your apprentices’ wages, funding is available to cover many other training costs. You’ll also be giving someone the opportunity of a real job, with hands-on experience, a salary and the chance to train while they work.

Spider’s Managing Director, Michelle Pollard feels passionately about getting young people ready for the work place and is the current Chair of the Suffolk Skills Show. The Show offers young people the opportunity to ‘have a go’ at a range of work-related skills, speak to employers from all over Suffolk, talk to people already doing the jobs, and gain an understanding of the routes in to employment or further education.

For more information about National Apprenticeship Week click here or follow @Apprenticeships on Twitter.