Get the most out of employing an Apprentice

As the owner of an Apprenticeship provider and an employer of Apprentices, I have a unique perspective on how to get the most out of an Apprentice. Employing an apprentice is not a quick fix for any business and there is time commitment but do not under estimate the life changing impact this opportunity has on an apprentice and the huge benefits that come from employing hungry and ambitious apprentices trained in this way.

Here are my tips to maximize ROI for both apprentice and employer when embarking on such an important partnership.

Recruit your Apprentice effectively:

At professional Apprenticeships we recruit through a number of methods not just the Government Apprenticeship website. This doesn’t however mean you can not also advertise or share our vacancy on your social media. Once we have sourced an apprentice and they have been through our 100 point vetting system we advise you follow the steps below:

Telephone interviews are not only a way of filtering a list of candidates to those which seem the most passionate and confident. They also allow the sometimes-nervous applicants to perform at their best during the face to face interviews as they have already spoken to you on the phone.

Interviews – Many employers just have a casual chat with potential apprentice, but we advocate a structured interview like any other new hire within your business. Ascertain the key must have qualities and abilities and plan your questions around them.

Test the Apprentice’s ability by setting a task to do after interview. This allows you to compare the applicants work. Send the applicants the same brief and check the work for quality, accuracy and how quickly it is retuned.

A Trial day or longer if needed to allow them to demonstrate their skills to you and the pace they work. This is a great opportunity to see if they fit the team well, and how effective they are at carrying out tasks. The Apprentice will also get a taste of the role and decide if it is right for them.

Introduce the Apprentice to your team and be sure to explain their job role in depth. You will be able to see if they will fit into your working environment well, and if the Apprenticeship is the right decision for what they wish to pursue in the future.

This process will make each applicant fight for the right to work for you and they will appreciate any job offer so much more if they have worked for it.

Train your Apprentice effectively: An Apprentice is required to complete an average 20% of their time, training, developing or shadowing. This will not only help them work towards their qualification but to be a more effective part of the business.

Teach the Apprentice to allow them to develop their skills and progress within their role. Ensure that the Apprentice is being constantly challenged to make sure they improve as much as possible and stay motivated.

Set achievable targets and discuss them regularly. Have regular meetings with your Apprentice to make sure that they are getting on well within their role and have targets of what to work on next.

Support your Apprentice effectively

It is important from day one you offer your apprentice the support that they so rightly deserve. Ensure that you or a member of your team is there for them, especially in the early stages.

Value your Apprentice and make sure the work they are given is relevant to their job description. No Digital Marketing apprentice wants to be doing nothing but Data entry and that applies to other apprenticeships. Get them involved in exciting projects and let them shadow other people in their roles.

Set your Apprentice achievable and realistic targets to prevent them feeling stressed and overwhelmed. When your Apprentice achieves their targets, make sure you reward them (with a small pay rise or an increase in their responsibilities) so that they feel their hard work is paying off.

Make sure the Apprentice has someone they can talk to if necessary – in addition to a supervisor assign them a mentor or buddy. Your Apprentice may need someone to talk to and this can help to get the most out of them and allow them to feel welcome quicker.

The important thing to remember is whatever training, support and mentoring you give your apprentice will be returned tenfold through the cost-effective input they have within your team. If you would like more information on taking an apprentice through Professional Apprenticeships then contact us on or 0117 422 400.

Article written by Adam Rooke | Professional Apprenticeships