How to better manage your apprentices

Have you decided to hire apprentices for your firm but are unsure of how best to use them? Like any member of staff, apprentices are a vital component of your business’ success and this means you must invest in them as much as you would with any other employee. Apprenticeships can be symbiotic relationships for businesses, offering each party mutual benefits as they grow and develop together.

Below we look at a few useful tips on how you can manage your apprentices so that the experience is productive for them and for your firm.

Give them direction

Apprentices are at your firm to learn so don’t be afraid to teach them the ropes by giving them direction and advice. If they’re doing something wrong then tell them so and explain what the problem is before demonstrating the correct practice.

Everyone has to learn new skills and you’ll more than likely find your apprentices are eager to please. Giving them firm direction which acknowledges any positive points while identifying areas for improvement will give them everything they need to develop and grow.

As they grow, so too will your business.

Show them trust

Nobody wants to be employed as a simple errand boy or girl and your apprentices won’t thank you for using them as a general dog’s body. Apprentices will only learn the ropes if you give them the opportunity to do so and that means showing them that you trust them and their work.

Get them to work their way up the job list slowly and ask them to complete tasks alone once you’ve gone through it with them a few times. Check their work and offer feedback to help them improve where necessary. This will more than likely encourage them to work harder as they’ll be keen to prove you haven’t been misguided in your bestowal of trust.

Encourage competition

Competition is something encountered in virtually every work environment and encouraging it amongst your apprenticeships may push them to do more to standout. If you have a large apprentice workforce then it may be easy for individuals to coast along without making an impression and this will not do them or you any good.

Set targets, offer incentives and promote healthy competition among your workforce to give apprentices the opportunity to prove their worth. Not only will you get the results you crave but you’ll also find that your apprentices develop more skills which are applicable to your workplace – something which will stand them in good stead for the future.

Finding the right apprentice

While the above tips will help you get the most from your apprentices, it’s important that you find the right ones to begin with. Interest is this area of recruitment is far from underdeveloped and just last December (2013), British defence experts BAE Systems announced they planned to recruit a record 568 apprentices over the course of 2014. This is to help fill roles across 16 of their UK-based divisions (such as aerospace, security and defence).

If you’re looking to source employees from this talent pool then look for those educated and managed by reputable organisations.

City & Guilds is the largest name in vocational education and a global leader in skills education. With 2 million learners working towards one of their certified qualifications each and every year, they’re an ideal place to seek suitable apprentices from.

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