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7 things to know when employing an apprentice

Posted: November 5th, 2019

1 What are the current holes in your business and is an apprentice the right person to fill that role?

Identifying the needs of your business prior to employing someone new is essential for finding the right person to fill that role adequately. Do you need someone to help out for a short period of time or is your business growing exponentially and therefore has the room for a new person to join the team long-term?

Outlining the scope of the help you require will aid you in deciding whom the appropriate person is to bring into the team. Doing this will give an indication into the amount of help you need and confirm whether or not there is enough work to sustain the ongoing employment of an apprentice.

2 What are your expectations?

Setting some expectations at the beginning of the hunt for a new apprentice can assist you in easily identifying the type of applicant that you require. This can be as simple as deciding whether you need someone full-time or part-time. Perhaps the role will involve weekend work, long hours or late nights, being clear on these factors from the start will mean that there are no surprises for employers or employees down the line.

3 Do you have the capacity to train a new person into your team?

Whether your business is a large operation or a solo team, it is important to nominate who will take the reins training the new apprentice. What does this person’s day involve and how will things have to change in order to accommodate training the new employee? An apprentice is an incredible aid to share the workload, but to do this to their best ability it is integral that they are given devoted attention and the correct training from the outset.

4 What type of person is suited to your team and workplace?

Making an assessment of your team and the workplace environment will help in identifying character traits that will slot in easily with the existing employees. Perhaps the workplace is fast paced with many different elements occurring at once, and if this is the case, looking out for someone who is apt at multitasking and is a quick thinker will mean that work flow won’t be slowed down or interrupted.

5 What attributes do you value in an employee?

Alongside identifying the type of person that will gel with the original team, it is also a good idea to keep an eye out for a few select attributes that are of value to the workplace. Think of these as sort of buzzwords or things you want to see in potential employees before taking them on for an apprentice. Some examples could be: being a team player, reliability, having problem solving skills, a passion for the industry your business works in, initiative and common sense.

6 What prior skillsets or qualifications would be valuable for a person to have before commencing an apprenticeship?

It is not uncommon for young adolescents to seek apprenticeships as an alternative to completing high school education. With this in mind, it’s necessary to determine whether there are any particular skills that are seen as essential before joining your business. Does this person need to have a certain understanding of mathematics or reading and writing? Perhaps it’s crucial to have a driving license and a car or another type of heavy machinery licenses. Making these needs clear will ensure your new apprentice can meet your needs from day one.

7 Does your business have the capacity to expand and accommodate the apprentice once they have become qualified and is there career progression opportunities within your business?

While you may be thinking about filling an immediate hole in your business, an apprentice is just at the beginning of their career pathway. Before committing to a new employee, it’s best to ensure that the business is able to expand and accommodate this person for the length of the apprenticeship and beyond. The additional potential of career progression gives an employee a goal to work towards and means that they feel they have a place within the business once their apprenticeship is completed.