As we begin to emerge out of the pandemic, with the vaccine roll out bringing fresh hope, it’s important that as an industry we do what we can to help young people rebuild their lives – better than ever before.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that more young people aged between 16 to 24 have dropped out of the UK workforce than any other age group.
Year-on-year, between September to November 2020, there were around 200,000 fewer 16-24-year-olds in employment. There is a pressing need from the lettings industry and the wider business community to help to create opportunities for them.
At The Letting Partnership our experience of hiring apprentices has been so positive, yet we worry that some businesses may be reluctant to take this step because of some common misconceptions.
The truth is that our apprentices have helped our business to grow. They are bright, dedicated and full of enthusiasm.
Apprentices will add value to your business and they are likely to stay on after their apprenticeship is over if you offer them opportunities and room for growth.
They also bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to any business. Finding strong candidates has been an easy and straight forward process with the help of our partner Greater Brighton Metropolitan College.
Working in the lettings industry is challenging and varied and can be an exciting place for any young person to start their career. We would urge the industry and indeed the wider business community to consider reaching out to their local education provider or looking into Government schemes for support.
The Letting Partnership hired three apprentices after we witnessed a surge in demand for our outsourced client accounting and Client Money Protection services this year and they have already helped our business to expand, while rising to the challenge of working remotely during the pandemic. We are so incredibly proud of them.
Here are the five most common myths you might hear about hiring apprentices.
Myth 1: It’s complicated
Our own experience of finding apprentices through Greater Brighton Metropolitan College has been extremely straight forward. We have been so impressed by the quality of its candidates, and by the process, that we are planning to take on more apprentices in the future.
Myth 2: It’s expensive
With initiatives such as the Government’s Kickstart Scheme offering funding to businesses which take on apprentices, it can be a cost-effective way of hiring new team members. The scope of the Kickstart Scheme has just been expanded so that smaller businesses can take part too. Apprentices can quickly help a business to scale up and grow, so they can have a direct impact on the bottom line.
Myth 3: It’s time-consuming
Training a new team member, regardless of their level of experience will take up time. But at The Letting Partnership, our apprentices were quick to learn and hard-working, arriving with bags of enthusiasm and commitment to succeed.
Myth 4: They are inexperienced
The Level 3 Business Administration courses provided our apprentices with a fantastic grounding and they came armed with knowledge about how businesses work. They also brought their own new ideas and the team is learning from them too. In truth, apprentices can help to upskill a workforce.
Myth 5: Apprentices leave after qualifying
Not so! We hired our first apprentices in 2016, beginning with John Westwood who is now the Client Induction Lead and has taken on full responsibility for onboarding and settling in new clients since he passed his apprenticeship.
He was followed by Ocean-Lee Parker, who passed her apprenticeship in September 2020 and accepted a full-time role as a Client Accounts Administrator. She’s even mentoring our latest cohort of apprentices who joined in the summer.
If you provide the right kind of nurturing environment, training and prospects at the end of the course, there’s no reason why apprentices won’t be interested in continuing their career within your business.
In summary hiring apprentices isn’t just good business – it’s better business too.
* * *