Yes, you heard us right. Not hiring an apprentice will cost you your business. Well, alright, not necessarily, that’s a bit of an overstatement. But hiring an apprentice will certainly help your business, there’s no doubt about that. It will strengthen it, grow it and will provide both you and your apprentices with numerous benefits.
Why and what benefits? Below we have rounded up some of the main advantages for small and medium businesses of hiring and training apprentices.
Improve the Bottom Line and See Tangible Financial Results
Let’s get the financial part out of the way first. Yes, having apprentices or offering a registered apprenticeship program can create numerous financial benefits for your business. Creating such a program can result in tax benefits and also qualify you for financial support from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
But even if you don’t opt for a registered program and simply hire apprentices to train in-house, you will still see financial benefits. For example, training will reduce your recruitment costs. But money invested in apprentices has also shown to have a higher return and is a long-term effective investment. Why? See below.
Developing a High-performance Workplace
In opening your doors for apprentices, you are investing (literally and figuratively) in developing a committed workforce. Apprentices are usually more productive as they are eager to learn the trade. People who are really committed to learning will absorb every bit of information and experience they receive.
Apprentices tend to make fewer mistakes as they are usually extra careful in the execution of their tasks. That makes for better health and safety records. It also creates a dynamic environment in which apprentices can serve as fuel for older workers to find a renewed sense of purpose.
Handing on the Trade
Trades and traditions have a lot in common. Just as traditions are handed on, so are trades. Learning from a skilled tradesman used to be regarded highly and it still is. Having one of your tradespeople act as a mentor will not only inspire apprentices to carry on and do their best. As mentioned, it can also give mentors a renewed sense of purpose and inspire them to go beyond their current knowledge and skills. So the mentorship process actually works both ways.
And as the older generation of skilled workforce gradually retires, skills need to be passed on to survive. Hence, having an apprentice also helps to bridge the skills gap and ensure that you’re covered for an eventual skill shortage.
Apprentice Loyalty and New Perspectives
An additional benefit of hiring and training apprentices comes with the development of loyalty. First of all, apprentices can be trained to meet the unique needs of your business. That includes your company culture, particular technology you are using and the whole industry environment. So by the time apprentices are through with their training and are certified, you’ll have expert staff with up-to-date knowledge.
Secondly, as you develop your high-performance workplace, apprentices will surely strive to prove themselves. And when you invest time and money in them, this will make them feel valued and will further motivate them. Ideally, what you will be left with is their loyalty and their will to reciprocate the efforts you have put in them.
Finally, apprentices can also bring in new ideas and perspectives. As said, older generations can also learn from younger ones, so even the newbies might be able to contribute. Whether they are tech-savvy or simply smart, their beginner’s mind is not to be underestimated.
Do we have you convinced? While it probably won’t cost you your business, not hiring an apprentice will likely end up being a cost to your business. All of the above advantages are interlinked and whatever your motivation for hiring an apprentice, you will see numerous benefits.
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