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What are the advantages of apprenticeships for employers?

We have written many times on these pages what the advantages of undergoing an apprenticeship are, as well as the long-lasting value of such endeavours, for those who choose this route in education.

As Asset Training’s MD, Ruth Smith, says in the video on our home page: “Our main area of work is to develop young apprentices and adult apprentices and give them the opportunity to get a qualification that will stand them in good stead in their careers.

“It’s a great opportunity for young people and older adults to access a qualification that they wouldn’t have normally been able to get. They get to earn while they learn, so instead of just going to college and sitting doing a qualification, they get the opportunity to understand the business world and I think they are exposed to much, much more in life.”

Apprenticeships are an exciting option for the would-be apprentice, but there are also significant advantages for an employer too. Apprenticeships are a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

Apprentices can be employed at different levels, from school leavers and university graduates to people who want to further their careers or change their career direction entirely. It means that as an employer you can hire a newcomer and play an important role in their early career or you can upskill an existing employee and play an equally important role in that person’s mid to late career journey. Either way, opting to include apprenticeships in your portfolio of training future proofs your workforce.


Indeed, adapting training according to the needs of a business and expanding and upskilling a workforce are among the key benefits cited by employers in the most recent government research into apprenticeships.

As mentioned in our previous blog, the report: ‘Apprenticeships Evaluation 2021: Learners & Employers’ (March 2022), not only provides feedback from apprentices, but also on the experience of employers. It was a pretty comprehensive survey too, involving in excess of 4,000 interviews.

The report showed that employer’s overall satisfaction with their main apprenticeship programme is high, with 83% of apprentice employers satisfied overall and 63% very satisfied. Employers were particularly likely to be satisfied that they had been able to select an apprenticeship relevant to their needs (82%).

Employers who had used providers for learning and/or assessment were also highly likely to be satisfied with the quality of initial assessment (82%), the quality of learning they delivered (79%) and the flexibility they offered to meet employers’ needs (78%). Furthermore, most employers (85%) would recommend apprenticeships to other employers.

Employers experienced a wide range of benefits as a result of training apprentices. The most common was the development of skills relevant to their organisation (85%), while more than three-quarters benefitted from increased productivity (78%). Amongst those who train existing employees as apprentices, improved staff retention was also commonly reported (76%).

Business benefits

In addition to future proofing a business and upskilling existing staff, many businesses see apprenticeships as a cost-effective way to recruit new staff and to incorporate it into business growth strategies.

Apprentices are contributing to the workplace while they are learning, spending much of their time gaining skills on the job.

While businesses are expected to pay apprentices’ wages, funding is also available to cover many other training costs. Further, investing in staff training through apprenticeships has a positive effect on a company’s coffers, making it more competitive and it’s been shown that consumers favour using a company that takes on apprentices – that’s boosting brand loyalty.

It’s all very well attracting talent, but it’s only half the battle. Retention of that talent is the other half. Apprenticeships offer that winning chance of improved retention rates. Apprentices across every industry are more likely to stay within a business compared to other team members, because apprenticeships offer learners structured career progression and increased confidence, resulting in job satisfaction.

Industry leads on apprenticeship standards which are developed by employers in every sector, so the skills, knowledge and behaviours developed by apprenticeships are designed to be the best in any given industry, meaning apprentices learn latest best practice and keep an organisation up to date.

Apprenticeships are open to everyone and are inclusive regardless of race, gender or background and in that way are diverse and inclusive and better for society. Businesses and organisations that create a strong sense of belonging will have a more productive workforce, one that is more likely to contribute at its full potential. Creating a sense of ‘belonging’ is critical for an organisation’s performance and progress.

It’s worth understanding the value that an apprenticeship programme can bring to a business, because it’s an investment in all levels of a team. The best companies know this and reap the rewards.

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