How to Successfully Onboard a New Apprentice

Written on: 4 November 2022

Written by: Anna Peart

Topic

[Employers]

A positive onboarding experience can help set your apprentice up for success, and help them integrate seamlessly into your team

Starting an apprenticeship can be a daunting process, so it’s important to have an onboarding plan in place so that your apprentice feels not only supported but excited in their new role.

When you consider that this could be your apprentice's first ever experience in the workplace, you want to make sure you're giving them the information and support they need to succeed – and this starts with a successful onboarding period.

How to integrate an apprentice into your team?

First things first, getting to know your new apprentice and helping them feel at home within your team is one of the most important elements of onboarding. A great way to start is by getting them involved in team meetings and allowing them to contribute ideas from the get-go. This will help them adjust to corporate culture, increase their confidence and could even spark their innovation.

The government has suggested that as well as ‘on-the-job’ training for your apprentice, additional support to ensure your apprentice’s success is crucial throughout their apprenticeship.

Types of support can include:

  • A comprehensive induction  
  • Mentoring or regular one-to-one guidance   
  • Social enrichment and networking opportunities
  • Performance reviews     
  • Mental health and wellbeing support

Meeting your apprentice's wellbeing needs

To prevent your new apprentice feeling overwhelmed - with no idea what to be doing and too afraid to ask - it's important to take the time to support them.

It's up to you to ensure they know about, and have access to, your support resources. It's really important to show an apprentice where to find information and support for wellbeing issues. If you have an employee assistance programme, make sure they know where to find the details and outline how they can ask for help within the team.

By asking your apprentice what they need from you early on, and by establishing clear expectations from both sides, the onboarding process will run much more smoothly, and your apprentice will feel more secure and confident in those vital first weeks.

Learn more: How to Support Your apprentice: The Ultimate Guide for Managers

How to make an onboarding plan for an apprentice

No matter where you’re at in your career, starting a new job is a daunting process. This can be more overwhelming for an apprentice where the learning curve ahead is steep. A well-structured onboarding plan with clear and consistent communication and support is vital. Create a training schedule and determine some smart goals and progression objectives with your apprentice.

To get started, we recommend office tours, a meet the team and an induction to your business. A key thing to remember is that this could be an apprentice’s first job role so it’s important to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Overall, an effective onboarding plan can lead to higher employee retention, increased productivity, and better job satisfaction for your new apprentice.

To make a formal onboarding plan for your apprentice, we spoke to our People and Culture Manager Beth who recommended defining your goals and then adapting your current onboarding processes to be relevant for the apprentices role.

She asks the following questions to herself when creating an onboarding plan:

  • What are the main objectives of this role?
  • How does this role relate to other teams in the business?
  • What knowledge about the business and our industry would a new employee need?
  • How long will it be before someone new to this role achieves full competency, and what support will they need to achieve this?

One factor to take into account it that apprentices may initially need additional support to understand their role and responsibilities than the usual induction plan for new employees.

Find out more:

Our team are always on hand to answer any questions you have on hiring and supporting an apprentice in your team. To find out more about recruiting an apprentice, or to discuss how an apprentice might fit into your team, please browse our programmes or get in touch with our friendly team. 

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