Many employers see hiring an apprentice as a significant investment, with considerations surrounding mentoring time and salary to be made.
However, there are many advantages for employers that take on an apprentice. HR apprentices have the potential to really change the face of the workforce for the better, with a multitude of benefits to be aware of.
In this blog, we’ll be making the business case for your HR apprentices and showing you just what they could bring to your organisation.
Apprentices Can Share Their New Knowledge
Even the most experienced HR professionals can learn from their apprentices. Whether they’re sharing a new concept, revisiting a principle you haven’t studied in a while or just giving their unique perspective, these apprentices can share new information.
It’s a fantastic idea to encourage apprentices to share the new knowledge that they’ve attained with the rest of the team. This can help them with their communication skills and motivate them to keep up with their learning.
The best practice advice from the CIPD is always changing to account for new challenges and you can work with your apprentice to refresh any policy documents relating to this. These are real responsibilities that can allow them to contribute fully to the workplace.
Shape the Future of HR in Your Organisation
The people profession is one of the most nuanced, fast-paced industries around. As an HR professional, you have the power to shape the future of the industry through mentoring newcomers. This is a fantastic opportunity for your organisation and for the wider field too.
In the coming years, HR professionals will be tackling tech trends that are only now being discussed theoretically. With the onset of AI, machine learning and other new tools, our job roles will be sure to change. It’s up to HR practitioners to manage this change as it impacts the wider workforce.
Being a mentor to a newcomer to the field can be hugely rewarding. You could find yourself helping an existing member of staff to take a step up or assisting a new employee in defining their career.
As you teach them about the culture of your organisation, they learn exactly how you support your staff and carry this best practice through the company.
Bring Diversity to Your Team
So many HR departments are tasked with creating a more diverse workforce, with many struggling to follow through on these goals. An apprenticeship scheme allows you to attract a totally different talent pool to your department.
Apprentices can come from all walks of life and there’s no upper age limit. You may see the same types of people applying for a more senior role in your department, which won’t do much for your diversity initiatives.
Opening this up to those with less experience or fewer formal qualifications through an apprenticeship can really change up the types of applicants that you get to meet with.
This can come in useful when the apprentice is dealing with employee grievances, as some employees may feel more comfortable talking with an HR representative that comes from a similar background.
Delegate Tasks to Free Up Time
If you’re spending a lot of your time on routine tasks, while the bigger picture processes fall by the wayside, then you’re not performing at your best. Taking on an HR apprentice can free up this time in your schedule as you delegate tasks to them.
Apprentices will be able to take on more complicated tasks as their training continues, as they will have more knowledge of the profession. Giving them responsibility and accountability can really help apprentices to shine, as they get the opportunity to show their newfound skills.
HR apprentices learn all about the profession, their role within the organisation and the practical skills they need to succeed. By passing modules on personal development, analysing data, supporting change and others, they can take on increasingly important tasks.
Work with Motivated Individuals
Apprentices are kicking off a career in the industry and they’re generally very excited to do so. Whether this comes in the form of an existing colleague getting the training they need to progress or a new hire coming into your department, they’ll be enthusiastic about the role.
With the right environment and coaching, these apprentices can remain motivated throughout their time in the company. They’ve already been shown that you care about their future development enough to invest in it, which is a major contributor to their job satisfaction.
Maximise Potential Through the Apprenticeship Levy
If you’re a levy paying employer, then you already have a pot of funds ready to use for your apprentices. This pays for their training and if you don’t use them the funds will expire 24 months after they’ve been paid in.
With many organisations viewing this as yet another tax, they’re not utilising these funds to their full potential. These can be used to take your HR apprentice on a journey to a CIPD accredited qualification, which can greatly benefit the organisation.
This applies to apprentices in all professions, as apprenticeship training has the potential to upskill many roles. By developing these professionals, the organisation stands to benefit from increased employee retention, engagement and profitability.
Fill Skills Gaps in the Department
In the HR profession, more and more of our work is concerned with data and people analytics. The C-suite wants to see more data-driven solutions, which is something that not all professionals may feel comfortable with.
HR apprentices are at the cutting-edge and learn the business justifications for everything that they do. They’re equipped with the analytical skills that they need to measure cost and effect of policies.
This can fill skills gaps within the department and allow you to generate more meaningful reports. HR is now being seen as more of a strategic partner in the boardroom, which requires a wide array of skills. Grow your own talent with an HR apprenticeship programme that works for your department.
With the right learners in your HR apprenticeship programme, you can experience all of these benefits and more. Generally speaking, apprentices have been shown to have a fantastic impact on a business, with windfalls in productivity and overall staff morale.
If common misconceptions about apprenticeships are putting you off, you’re missing out on all of these perks.
Remember, there’s no upper limit on the age of an apprentice and you can use your levy to upskill existing members of staff too. As for the 20% off-the-job training requirement, this can be delivered flexibly online in a way that minimises disruption for your apprentice, your team, and your organisation.
If you haven't invested your apprenticeship levy yet, now is the perfect time to start generating that ROI.