Since 2019 Scott has been full-time at Ensign after completing his level 3 IT apprenticeship and now works as a fundamental part of the data team.
“My apprenticeship enabled me to learn from people that are established in the industry, studying towards a recognised qualification and while doing all of this being able to take the first steps to independence.”
“For people who are coming directly from college, as I did, an apprenticeship is a great way to get a foot in the door of your desired industry as well as gaining invaluable, relevant skills for the rest of your working life.”
Why I love my apprenticeship
As someone who is currently completing an apprenticeship, I can wholeheartedly say it is the best route to start a career. A big reason for this is the fact that we live in a time when, even though every job requires 2 years’ experience, the majority of employers aren’t willing to give people said experience.
I am now in a role in which I am learning the theory side through my course work, set by the agency, and then putting this new knowledge into practice in the workplace. Being surrounded by an experienced team (who are all delightful may I add) means that all 200 hundred questions I ask a day are met with genuinely insightful answers that will help me to develop as a professional.
I joined Ensign with very little knowledge of what Digital Marketing entailed but now I am being paid to learn it. After all, people always say that every day is a school day, but the difference when doing an apprenticeship is, I’m being paid to wake up before 7 am.
Why Ensign loves apprentices
Apprenticeships are not only beneficial for the apprentice, but also for the business too (otherwise we wouldn’t have so many). Gemma Mansfield, General Manager, touched on why we often prefer to hire an apprentice over someone with existing experience:
“We believe it’s more down to the person’s attitude and behaviors towards work than specific skills. Skills can be taught to any individual that has the right attitude. With an apprentice, we are able to mold the individual to how we would like them to be as opposed to a more experienced person who may be stuck in their own ways.”
Why you should love them too
Our team wouldn’t be the same without our apprentices. First of all, our McDonald’s orders would be much smaller. Secondly, we’d be missing out on a great way to add fresh talent into the business.
But that’s not only true for Ensign; all the same, advantages can apply to almost any business.
The key benefits the business receives from taking on board an apprentice, as identified by Gemma, include…
- Injecting youthful energy into the company
- Bridging the skills gap
- Building a committed workforce
- Introducing a fresh perspective
- Extra incentives for funding
I’m not saying sack your entire team of experienced employees and replace them with a bunch of 18- year-olds who have no idea what they’re doing. What I am saying is that the introduction of apprentices into your current setup could make a world of difference. Even those who have been in the industry for twenty or more years could benefit from someone who is looking into their world for the first time.
If you build it (use an apprenticeship agency), they will come
There are a plethora of apprenticeship agencies out there that do 90% of the leg work when it comes to finding the ideal candidate. From advertising the job role, reviewing CVs, and holding initial interviews, the likelihood of finding who you’re looking for is substantial.
As well as carrying out the majority of the vetting process, the agency will also be a helping hand when it comes to training the individual to help them gain a better understating of their role and the industry they have joined. Regular sessions with their learning tutor as well as coursework weeks mean the apprentice’s learning is split between you and the agency. This means you don’t have to worry about losing one of your managers because they’ve effectively become full-time babysitters.
The icing on the cake, the Pièce De Résistance if you will, is that up until the end of January (2022) you can claim up to £3,000 for hiring an apprentice. What’s that, free money? For hiring someone who is young, hungry, and driven, with the potential to take your business to the next level? I’m aware it sounds like a scam but trust me, it’s on the government’s website and everything:
We at Ensign have very much reaped the benefits of hiring apprentices. They have gone on to become fundamental components of our team and we have no doubt that future individuals will take the same route into our family and have an equally outstanding impact. If you have ever considered taking on board an apprentice or two, now’s the time.