HR 17 August 2016

Why hiring apprentices can be a win-win for startups

apprentice startup
Apprentices can offer startups unbiased opinions and an untapped level of enthusiasm

We often hear about the value of apprenticeships, both for companies that choose to offer them and employees who participate, with the government incentivising apprenticeship schemes and many mid-sized businesses jumping on board.

However, small companies investing in apprenticeships are fewer and further between –  many startup owners probably feel they don’t have the resources to bring apprentices into their business.

While these concerns are certainly understandable, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right. There are a lot of great reasons to bring apprentices into your company sooner rather than later.

Common Ground

Apprentices and startups both have a lot in common: each are looking to sink your teeth into a new challenge, build new skills and learn new things along the way.

So, if as a startup, you think you don’t have a whole lot to offer apprentices you bring on board, you’re almost certainly wrong. You may be on a learning curve, but watching you struggle with and overcome challenges is going to be more valuable than simply watching an experienced business ticking along as it always has.

Creative Energy

The creative energy startups often bring to challenges is what makes excellent learning experiences for apprentices. Similarly, apprentices will bring a lot of creative energy of their own into the business – and they can offer you a much-needed fresh pair of eyes, looking at your company as a relative outsider.

Therefore, if your startup is hitting a bit of a creative wall with a particular assignment, apprentices may be able to approach it in a new way and help you find a solution. While this is a worthwhile asset for any company, it is especially helpful in startups, where creative thinking is very much a life force.

Boost Your Business

The government’s recognition of the importance of apprenticeships has led them to offer some excellent grants to those businesses that choose to offer young people the opportunity to develop. Grants offer better support to your apprentices and your company, allowing you to invest in skills training.

Untrained Doesn’t Mean Unskilled

We sometimes hear that startup owners aren’t keen to take on apprentices because they think they’ll get more out of workers who are already trained in the job. While it can be true that you can save time by hiring people who already have the necessary certification or relevant experience, you should also consider that a lack of training doesn’t mean people don’t have skills to do the job.

By employing somebody who is yet to be trained, you can ensure they are educated to your standards and have the right learning opportunities, giving them the the right tools to do an effective job.

Through offering an apprenticeship, you and your company can find yourself with a passionate and professional fresh pair of hands to give you much needed help when starting your company. They offer an unbiased avenue of thought, as well as delivering an untapped level of enthusiasm to assist your startup in finding its feet.

While you might think apprentices could distract you from major tasks at hand, both apprentices and your company can flourish from the experience – with your apprentice developing alongside and your business.

Greame Donnelly is founder Quality Formations – an agency assisting the formation of startups with bespoke company structures.

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