All business owners are constantly looking at ways to cut costs, improve productivity, increase profitability and at the same time have a hankering for an easier life. Most of us love what we do however we find it difficult to get that work family life balance. If you are a service business you know that your biggest asset, and biggest cost, is your team (not staff, we call them team). Ensuring that you allocate sufficient time and resources into your team can have a direct impact on your costs, productivity and profitability.
We at Raffingers have always known this and have looked to take new team members on at a junior level, to support and train them through their personal development, and hopefully have a senior position available for them when the time is right. As a result, we have a great team in all our departments. On a personal level it’s also very satisfying being a part of someone’s progress and success.
Historically we have run a graduate programme and taken on two account juniors every couple of years, and would use recruitment agencies to fill any junior rolls in our other departments. We changed things up a few years ago, as we thought it would be a great idea to bring new team members on at an earlier stage and get involved in the apprenticeship programme. We are so happy that we did. We haven’t always got it right, but four out of five is not bad going I suppose. There are many recruitment agencies that will tell you all about the wonderful benefits of an apprenticeship programme that sounds too good to be true (the average Apprenticeship will improve productivity by £214 a week. Really?!) however I can tell you first hand that it is well worth the effort.
You get to offer a whippersnapper their first experience of working in an office environment. They are young and eager to learn so they can be tailored to specific job roles, making them flexible to the needs of your business. Apprentices are eager and loyal to the company that invested in them. This in turn can help reduce your staff turnover by increasing your employee satisfaction and loyalty, and help motivate the rest of your team. In a survey by a leading recruitment agency specialising in the placements of apprentices, employers identified a number of long term benefits arising from Apprenticeship training, which included:
- A supply of people with the skills and qualities that businesses require;
- A supply of skilled recruits to help businesses grow;
- Apprentices tend to stay and progress within the business; and
- Teaching Apprentices enable senior staff to pass on their own knowledge.
Apprentices deliver real returns to your bottom line. In a recent Apprenticeship survey 76% of employers said that Apprentices helped them to improve productivity and to be more competitive. They also said that training Apprentices is more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs.
Personally, the apprenticeship programme has been a great success for our firm and I would recommend it to any business of any size.
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