How to upskill an apprentice

Investing in apprenticeship talent is becoming an increasingly popular decision for businesses across many industries. So, it’s no surprise that the UK Government is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion by 2024-25. However, many organisations are curious to explore how apprenticeships will add value in the long run. To make life easier, we’re sharing all you need to know when it comes to upskilling an apprentice. 


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How to upskill an employee

Employer mentoring her employee

Many businesses are not aware that existing employees can be enrolled in apprenticeship training programmes. This approach offers a distinct advantage: it allows companies to invest further in their current workforce without incurring the costs associated with hiring new staff. By leveraging the skills and knowledge of employees already integrated into the organisation, your business can enhance capabilities and productivity efficiently.

One reason to upskill employees may be that their role has pivoted. For example, you may have a sales team member who is taking on more of a responsibility with organising and delivering events. In this instance, it would be appropriate to put them through a programme such as the Level 3 Events Assistant apprenticeship

Most employees are keen for professional development opportunities. By putting them through an apprenticeship, you aren’t just investing in skills development, you’re also boosting employee morale by committing to their career growth. 


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How to upskill the entire workforce 

Employer training his workforce

Apprenticeships are a great way to upskill your workforce, but there are also other initiatives your organisation can explore to continuously support learning and development. Many of which go hand-in-hand and aid an apprentice’s development. 

Other ways you can upskill your workforce include: 

  • Employee mentorship programme: Mentors in the workplace aren’t just for new starters. In fact, regardless of seniority, a mentor can be an excellent sounding board and facilitator. They are an invaluable resource to an employee’s development. Whilst managers are important for meeting KPIs and other important business goals, a mentor can be an extra support mechanism for both professional and personal growth. 
  • Make L&D resources readily available: It’s no secret that organisations that are more supportive towards employee L&D are more likely to benefit from improved staff retention, and boosted productivity. According to LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. Your company should consider having a library of learning resources readily available so that employees can easily engage with courses that have been identified as suitable and relevant to their roles. 
  • Run internal workshops: Earlier we mentioned that roles can sometimes pivot. Therefore, it’s imperative to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to transitioning an employee into a newly evolved job role. Running workshops can help employees get together in an environment dedicated to learning, where knowledge can be shared. This not only helps boost employee morale, but also improves flexibility, creating a more versatile workforce. The result? Happier employees who are more engaged in their role and carry out their duties more effectively. 


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What are the benefits of hiring an apprentice at your organisation? 

Employers speaking to an apprenticeship candidate

A major benefit of hiring an apprentice is that you are ‘future-proofing’. Whilst your apprentices may be entry-level now, they could be your future leadership team. As such, you are benefitting from a cost-effective way to recruit and train new talent. Plus, upon onboarding an apprentice, you may be eligible to benefit from grants or government support to offset some of the training costs. 

Another benefit is that apprentices can offer a fresh perspective. Typically, they are new to the industry and the workforce, and as a result may be able to put forward new ideas and ways of thinking. Don’t underestimate the positive impact an apprentice may have. Long gone are the days where apprentices don’t have much responsibility. It’s a good idea to get them involved in as much as possible. This will also make your apprentice feel valued and they’ll be more likely to contribute in an environment where they are being included. 

As well as being a cost-effective way to hire great talent, and an even better way to innovate, by investing in apprenticeships you have autonomy to tailor the training. Many apprentices enter the workplace with little to no training. Consequently, you are at a better advantage as an employer to integrate them into your culture and align them with your business operations. 


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Here’s what to consider when training an apprentice: 

Manager training young apprentice in office

There’s a few things you’ll need to consider as an employer looking to hire and train an apprentice. 

Firstly, you should evaluate whether the apprentice will have access to resources to develop throughout the duration of their apprenticeship. There is an expectation that the employer, as well as the training provider, will be there to provide ongoing training and support. Also ask yourself, ‘will the apprentice get regular feedback and performance evaluations?’. If the answer is yes, you are a suitable candidate to welcome an apprentice into your organisation. 

You should also consider the financial implications of hiring an apprentice. While apprenticeships offer cost-effective hiring, investing in long-term retention of trained talent provides the best return and supports company growth. An apprentice should not be viewed as a cost-saving measure to replace an existing employee or as a source of inexpensive labour.


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How to hire an apprentice

Access Industry apprenticeship networking event

Before engaging with a training provider, make sure to identify your needs. You should spend time determining the specific skills and roles you need an apprentice for. Once agreed upon, it’s time to develop a job description which clearly outlines the responsibilities the apprentice will have, as well as any KPIs they will be set as part of their role. When writing a job description, it’s important to also look at it through the potential apprentice’s lens. For instance, will the vacancy appeal to candidates? Are the benefits and growth opportunities well highlighted? 

Now, it’s time to seek out an apprenticeship training provider. At Access Industry, we’ve got you covered for all things creative and digital related. Whether you’re an organisation small or large, we are experienced with providing high-quality training to your apprentices to businesses of all sizes. We can also support you with sourcing candidates if needed. 

Once you’ve found the ideal candidate and they accept a job offer, you are well on your way to onboarding your apprentice. As a training provider, we can deliver the apprentice’s training. Our industry experts are dedicated to nurturing your apprentices and enabling them to implement their learnings in your company. 

It really is that simple to hire an apprentice! Here are 9 other common questions answered about apprenticeships. 


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How to get help for hiring apprentices

Access Industry networking event

Hiring an apprentice with Access Industry is streamlined and tailored to your organisation’s unique needs. Our dedicated team can assist you in identifying suitable candidates and meeting specific training requirements, handling the intricate details to ensure a smooth process for you.

Schedule a consultation for expert guidance on hiring apprentices.

Last updated on: 17th May 2024