Apprenticeships are a popular choice amongst employers who are looking to strengthen their workforces with new talent. Arch, the apprenticeship division of Agilisys, has taken on more than 150 young people into Agilisys, into its group companies and into other partner employers, such as Google and Barclays, as digital and IT apprentices.
Ben Rowland, the co-founder of Arch, says the company has learnt some key things that help make an apprenticeship a success for employer and apprentice alike:
1. Make sure the apprentice’s line manager is enthusiastic and prepared
2. Try to understand as much as you can about the qualification your apprentice will be working towards – it will help you and them
3. A week’s work experience or work-trial as the last part of your selection process will give you, your colleagues and the apprentice real confidence even before the apprenticeship has started
3. Make the apprentice feel special and welcome: a really well organised first day and week, a proper desk space or work station and a phone call the week before the apprentice starts to check everything is okay will ensure they know they are important to you
4. Make sure you are prepared to support your new apprentice in the first few weeks and months
5. But don’t let the organisation lose sight of the amazing payback you will get from having taken on an apprentice!
6. Shop around for your training provider! Don’t just go with the first one you talk to. How good they are will have a significant impact on the quality of the apprenticeship for you and the young person you are investing in, so it’s worth checking out at least a few.