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Liam Barber, Innov8 apprentice taken on with the help of Ealing Apprenticeship Network

Good business: 100 reasons for an apprentice

Ealing Council has smashed its target of attracting 100 apprenticeship pledges from local businesses in 100 days; the ‘100 in 100’ campaign. To date, 180 pledges have been made with opportunities from a variety of organisations including London Underground, Pho Restaurants and a schools.

This year’s campaign finishes on Friday (9 December) so there is still time for more businesses to offer a chance to a young person.

What is it?

The council’s Ealing Apprenticeship Network started its first campaign in 2013 to help local firms and organisations to take on apprentices. Each year, it has run for 100 days between September and December with the aim of creating 100 pledges for apprenticeship placements for young people: A target which has, consistently been exceeded.

Councillor Peter Mason, cabinet member for prosperity, skills, employment and transformation, said: “The council is again looking for businesses to make the pledge in return for support to recruit and train their apprentice. Last year’s target was smashed, with 157 pledges made for apprenticeships across sectors such as hospitality and catering, construction, hair and beauty, childcare, retail and more. It has proven to be as beneficial to the businesses as it has to the apprentices.”

I am a business owner. What do I get out of it?

In return for setting up an apprenticeship role, the business can expect to receive full support around the process of hiring, employing and training an apprentice to ensure that both employer and employee get the most out of the placement. The support includes help with writing role descriptions and advertising vacancies, managing the recruitment process and ongoing training and support for the apprentices once employed.

Not only has it been shown that taking on an apprentice has links to increased productivity and improved business performance, statistics show that for every £1 spent on an apprentice, an employer reaps £18 in return. In addition, many managers who have trained these young people find satisfaction on a personal level in seeing them learn and grow.

Heenal Fatania, council apprentice
Heenal Fatania, council apprentice. The council practices what it preaches and takes on apprentices every year as well as helping businesses to take on their own

But that is not all. While the council offers the support through the Ealing Apprenticeship Network, the government offers financial help to businesses that fit certain criteria, in the form of:

  • Full funding for the training of 16-18 year-olds
  • Part funding for those who are 19-23
  • Grants have been available for businesses that have fewer than 100 employees and have not taken on an apprentice before.
Good bit of business: The apprentice stats
  • 80% of companies that invest in apprentices have reported a significant increase in employee retention
  • 77% of employers believe apprenticeships make them more competitive
  • 76% of those employers who employ apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive
  • 81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on apprentices
  • 92% of employers who employ apprentices believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.

Data compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service

OK, I am convinced. What do I do now?

Businesses can contact the team any time of the year – it is not just restricted to the months of the campaign. All you have to do is get in touch using the contact details below.

Employers who would like more information or to offer an apprenticeship to a 16-23 year-old should visit the apprenticeships pages of the council website and fill out the form online, email apprenticeships@ealing.gov.uk or call 020 8825 6234.

Once you have made a pledge a member of the council apprenticeship team will be in touch with you to discuss if an apprenticeship is a good option for your business, followed by a visit to the premises where the apprentice will be working (or office base for apprentices who would be working remotely). You will be given assistance in setting up the apprenticeship role and in recruiting the apprentice.

The placement and support service from the council is free of charge. The costs to the business include the apprentices wage, and sometimes, depending on the skills area, a contribution towards the costs of the qualification.

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