Businesses can attract fresh talent through apprenticeship schemes
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At a time when many companies are struggling to recruit staff, apprentices are providing a way of attracting new talent into businesses.
Through apprenticeship schemes firms from a wide range of sectors are finding they are able to train workers to have the skills needed to drive their businesses forward.
Larking Gowen, an accountancy firm with offices across East Anglia, trains apprentices to become fully qualified chartered accountants.
Amanda Ninham, head of HR at Larking Gowen, said: "Through our apprenticeship scheme we can support local people and local communities by providing opportunities outside of university/college for young people to develop or change careers.
"They allow us to regularly bring new talent into our business and to invest in grass roots skills development, which, in turn, futureproofs our business.
"We hope that by 'growing our own' our apprentices become journey people and are as committed to a career with the firm as we are to them."
For Antony Howell, managing director at Broom Boats, apprentices make up more than 20pc of his Brundall-based boatyard's workforce.
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He said: "Apprentices are fundamentally important to our business. They've come in and they are training currently as boat yard and engineering staff."
The company, which primarily provides boat hire for holidays and day trips, is planning to launch a pub during the summer and is looking to recruit more apprentices for when it opens.
He added: "I'm passionate about apprenticeships. I've included apprentices in the business and they will be the future leaders of this business."
Katy Dorman, apprenticeship strategy manager at Norfolk County Council explained that research found that apprentices have had a positive impact on businesses.
She said: "Recent research conducted by Apprenticeships Norfolk in December 2021 shows that 54pc of the local Norfolk businesses who responded, state that apprenticeships have helped them to develop skills and address a skills shortage in their organisation or expand their workforce skills, 30pc said it allowed them to invest in new talent.
"We know apprenticeships bring real opportunity for businesses to expand, diversify and develop their businesses to stay current. Businesses often report that they learn as much from their apprentice as the apprentice does from the organisation."
Apprentice career goals
After completing his Business Administrator Level 3 apprentice with Thornage Hall, Soloman Barnard is hoping for a career within the business.
Mr Barnard joined the company as he wanted to do a business administration apprenticeship within a "friendly and positive community".
Holt-based Thornage Hall is an independent charity that provides supported living accommodation for adults with learning disabilities.
He said: "The jobs I must complete will vary each day. My job will usually consist of a small section of finance and marketing, this includes banking and running the social media accounts as this allows the families of the tenants and day service users to keep engaged with Thornage Hall and therefore this is what I enjoy most.
"I also deal with encounters with the public via phone calls and people visiting externally. I would say the most difficult task has been allowing Thornage Hall to work efficiently through this tough pandemic as it is important for us to follow the correct procedures for the safety of our tenants."
During his apprenticeship, Mr Barnard has learnt a variety of new skills which he said would his "work productivity to increase".
He added: "The highlight of my apprenticeship would be receiving the opportunity to work within the marketing sector by running the social media accounts. This therefore helps keep the day service users who are isolating at home a chance to keep involved with Thornage Hall by completing a variety of engaging activities."
Once his apprenticeship ends, he hopes to continue working for the charity.
Mr Barnard said: "I would like to be offered a position within Thornage Hall as I enjoy the community as well as the work I complete. Although, If this isn't a possibility at the time I would like to work for a business where I can make the most of the skills I have learnt."