How will mentoring an apprentice have better results than hiring a graduate?

Written on: 15 November 2018

Written by: Amanda McCombie

Topic

[graduate, apprentice-levy-info, apprentice-levy, productivity, managing, mentoring]

The word apprenticeships is on everybody's lips and is high on the government agenda with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. But how does an apprentice compare to a graduate? Do the benefits of growing your own talent with an apprentice outweigh that of recruiting a graduate?

Last year, according to data from the National Apprenticeship Services, 76% of employers believed that apprentices made them more productive as a business. 

With the below traits it’s not hard to see why more employers want to take on apprentices:

Practical skills

The definition of the word “apprenticeship” is training while in full-time work, and the practical skills that an apprentice acquires on their training make them invaluable assets to a business. An apprentice can be moulded to be a perfect fit for a business, using the skills and training they receive, they are a relatively blank canvas that can be moulded to suit a businesses needs. 

These practical skills generally have a more tangible effect on a business than academic ones. Employers can tailor practical training to their requirements, so apprenticeships focus on skills that will actually be used, rather than more theoretical topics covered in some degree courses.

Eager to work

Many school and college leavers are ready to move away from traditional learning. They are eager for a new challenge and want to enter the real world, this is where an apprenticeship is an ideal solution. It bridges the gap between school and work, bringing the freedom and experience of the working world, but still developing new skills and knowledge.

As we get older, we become creatures of habit and the longer we become accustomed to a certain way of life, the harder it becomes to embrace changes in our everyday. This can be said of the switch from education to full-time work, and some graduates, who have had full control over their own time, study and holidays over an extended period may struggle with the transition.

Positive attitude

Leaving school and college and finding your first “real” job is a huge milestone for anybody, and as most apprenticeship roles are targeted towards more junior roles within a team, it makes them the ideal starting point for somebody looking to get their foot on the career ladder.

On the flip-side to this, a graduate who has just completed 3 (or more) years of intensive study in their chosen field may feel that an apprenticeship level role is a step-down, so may be less positive and enthusiastic about the challenge.

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