How employing an apprentice can help develop a business like Parsons Joinery.

1. IMPROVING PROFIT MARGINS:  In a recent survey* the majority of employers’ interviewed said that apprenticeships helped them to improve productivity and to be more competitive. Training apprentices is more cost effective than employing skilled staff and they can be trained in skills that meet the particular business needs. It is rare that we employ skilled staff with the perfect skills set and, in the past, we have found that it has taken six months to a year for new staff to gain the versatility required of a bespoke joinery manufacturing and installation company such as Parsons Joinery Ltd.

2. MOTIVATING THE WORKFORCE: Apprentices themselves tend to be eager, motivated and loyal because they have been given the opportunity to train in their chosen career. Additionally, the rest of your staff will be motivated by your commitment to training and that you value their skills enough to want them to transfer them to a younger generation. In our experience, of the apprentices that we have employed over the past 13 years, two have completed their apprenticeships and still work for the company several years after qualifying. Our current apprentice has successfully completed his first year of study.

3. FILLING SKILLS GAPS:  Apprenticeships help my business to develop the specialist skills we need to keep up with the latest technology and working practices within our sector. Our staff range in age from 66 years to 21 years with most of them falling within the middle bracket. Most of our staff trained 20 or even 30 years ago so our apprentices inject fresh approaches whilst benefiting from the experience of older members of staff.

4. INCREASING SALES:  81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on apprentices and most appreciate companies who show a commitment to funding training and development within their workforce.

5. GAINING FUNDING:  Employers who take on 16-18 year old apprentices only pay their salary with the Government funding their training.  For those in the construction industry who pay the CITB levy, they will receive an additional grant toward their costs through the Construction Skills Apprenticeship Programme.

6. SECURING THE FUTURE:  Construction Skills have warned that the construction industry faces a ‘workforce timebomb’ and risks a serious skills shortfall due to its ageing workforce. The increasing age profile is more pronounced in the manual workforce. Personally, I have always endeavoured to achieve diversity in the workforce by employing staff who represent a range of ages as this secures the future survival of the company and more closely reflects the range of our varied customer base.

*Apprenticeships, survey conducted by Populus on behalf of the Learn and Skills Council, February 2009