Contrary to popular misconceptions, apprentices are useful for more than just making tea. In fact, over the course of their apprenticeship, they will mature into fully fledged members of the team, and will more than pull their weight.
Start off with small tasks
Your new hire should go through the same induction process as any other employee, picking up the basics of office life. For many, an apprenticeship will be their first foray into of the world of work, which means they won’t have developed any bad habits from previous employers.
Initially, an apprentice can help with all of the lower level tasks that can take up a lot of your team’s time. By doing this, you should see an immediate increase in productivity. Having an apprentice to take care of these small tasks will free up everyone else’s time, allowing them to concentrate on higher level projects.
Helping their mentor
The apprentice’s mentor will be responsible for showing them the ropes, and will guide through their development over the course of the apprenticeship. As they progress through their training, you can begin to grow their workload and areas of responsibility.
Getting stuck in to their day to day role is the best way for an apprentice to learn. Don’t be afraid to trust them with more important work as they build up their confidence. Along with this comes support. Reassure them as they navigate their way through unfamiliar tasks and always encourage questions at every stage.
Their own projects
Learning is something that should go both ways. Instead of just thinking about what an apprentice can learn from you, consider what you can learn from them. They may be able to offer a fresh perspective that brings innovative ideas to the table. Once they are ready, giving your apprentice ownership of their own projects will allow them to fully immerse themselves into their role.
When you decide to take on an apprentice, it is important that you carefully consider which programme would be best suited to the vacancy you want to fill. Apprenticeship standards are designed with specific, real-world jobs in mind, so make sure the duties listed match the realities of the role.
There should be a realistic promise of a full-time role for them when they complete the apprenticeship. By giving them something tangible to aim for, you will both get a lot more out of the apprenticeship. After all, an apprenticeship is an investment in the future; by teaching new talent how to do what you do, you are ensuring that your business thrives for years to come.