From Start-Up to Scale-Up: How Can Apprenticeships Grow Your Business?

Written on: 7 July 2021

Written by: Frances Hardcastle

Topic

[Employers]

Making the move from start-up to scale-up is an amazing time for any business leader. You’ve got your key people, you’ve been through a whirlwind of experimentation and innovation, and – despite all the challenges you’ve faced – you’re seeing success and are ready to grow.

Scaling is a specific phase in a company’s growth. During this time, you may be focused on growing your team, accessing new funding streams, attracting bigger clients, launching in new markets – or all of the above. With more demands than ever on you and your team, now is the perfect time to add apprenticeships to your hiring strategy.

The Benefits of Growing Your Team with Apprentices

Expanding businesses need more people. As your business grows, so does customer demand, client expectations, and the need for senior leaders to devote more of their time to strategic planning.

Growing your team with apprentices can increase your team’s immediate capacity, reduce employment costs, and provide a route to recruit and train specialist staff for the long-term success of your company.

There are also a range of funding incentives available for apprentice employers, including cash grants of up to £4,000 and 95% government contributions towards training costs.

What Roles Can Apprentices Fill in a Growing Business?

Apprenticeships can add value to every area of your business. An IT Support Apprentice can help you improve response times within a busy IT team; while a Digital Marketing Apprentice can take on everyday branding tasks, enabling your Marketing Manager to focus on advertising strategy.

With hundreds of qualifications and training programmes to choose from, you can even use apprenticeships to support with specialist tech roles, including software development and data analysis.

Scale-Up Your Business, Scale-Up Your Talent: How to Recruit Specialist Staff

During your start-up phase, colleagues can wear so ‘many hats’ you’d be forgiven for thinking you were at the races. But as you scale your team, your team can specialise.

In the early days of your company, your marketing team probably consisted of a single person. As you reach the scale-up phase, one job expands into the work of a whole department – creating demand for graphic designers, SEO specialists, content creators, analytics experts and PR professionals.

Of course, you can outsource these skills – but developing in-house talent can be much more efficient and cost-effective, particularly if you take the apprenticeship training route.

Apprenticeships are a smart way to get ahead of your skills gap and develop your specialist talent before you need it. Each apprenticeship programme follows an established training and development pathway, created by industry leaders and delivered by expert trainers, offering a complete training plan for a new employee.

How to Grow Your Business and Keep Your Company Culture Strong

One of the core challenges for growing businesses is how to expand their team and retain the company culture that made their start-up unique and successful.

Culture can’t be underestimated for scaling businesses – it’s an essential element of your overall brand and helps attract new staff, customers, and even venture capital.

“Culture is such a fundamental force in companies and it often goes unnoticed when scaling is a priority,” writes PwC executive, Andrew Popliger in his article: What I Wish I’d Known Before Scaling Tech Companies.

“[T]he drive to just fill seats with ‘qualified’ people is a mistake," he explains. "When you get culture right, your hiring is easier, your deals close faster, and your company experiences notable growth. If you get it wrong, however, it can be expensive to fix and harmful to your brand.”

Apprenticeships are just one way you can develop the skills your team needs, while also protecting the values and culture you want. By building training opportunities within new roles, you can hire for culture and train for skill – capturing the best of both worlds as your business grows.

Find out more:

Apprenticeships can play an important role in helping your business to grow. With apprenticeships, you set the scene to attract driven, passionate people – building a loyal workforce who can grow alongside your business.

To find out more about how an apprentice could fit into your growing team, browse our courses, or get in touch with our friendly team.

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