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Why developing your employees with apprenticeships is good business

Why developing your employees with apprenticeships is good business

by Caroline Bell, Business Development Manager, People 1st

As training providers, People 1st often speak with employers about the training they need for their staff.  A frequent dilemma for employers is around committing to training for their staff, only for those to leave or move on.  We counter this by asking them to consider the alternative outcome, i.e.;

“What if you don’t train your staff and then they stay!”

We appreciate the constraints on businesses at the present time in relation to the cost of good, quality training.  However, there is an alternative, fully funded option, which also rewards the employer with a financial incentive when their staff successfully complete the course.

Work-based learning offers businesses the opportunity to develop, support and grow a more qualified workforce aligned to their future strategy. Apprenticeships, funded through the ApprenticeshipsNI programme, can deliver significant business benefits to you, your organisation and your employees.

Here are some of the top benefits:

Business benefits for your organisation

  • Increased employee engagement and reduced staff turnover. Quality apprenticeships can increase employee satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Increased staff motivation and team working through engaging training sessions and learning materials.
  • Boosted productivity. Apprenticeships can develop the skills and knowledge employees need to carry out their job more effectively.
  • Workplace training sessions. Training can be delivered in your workplace, minimising disruption on your employee’s day to day role and responsibilities.
  • Development of new talent and fresh ideas. Apprenticeships are a proven way to recruit new employees or re-train and upskill existing team members.
  • Help for your organisation to address any skill shortages through the wide range of apprenticeships available.

Benefits for your employees

  • Career progression and goals. Multi-level apprenticeship programmes can offer visible progression options and career goals for your employees.
  • A sense of being valued. Investing in your employees has a positive impact on their lives in and out of work.
  • Personal development and acquisition of new skills. Completing an apprenticeship leads to a nationally recognised qualification.
  • Greater understanding of how their role can impact the wider organisation
  • Improved soft skills such as communications skills, team working and problem solving. Having the right skills, knowledge and behaviours to fulfil their duties will lead to increased job satisfaction.

How does the ApprenticeshipsNI Programme work?

ApprenticeshipsNI is a work-based programme designed around the needs of employers. It offers recognised training and qualifications to new and existing employees aged 16 and over, across a wide range of apprenticeships at Level 2 and Level 3. An apprenticeship can give your employees the training and qualifications they need to get ahead and meet your business needs. 

Funding for ApprenticeshipsNI training costs are provided by the Department for the Economy (DfE) and an incentive payment (between £250 - £750 Per apprentice) is available for employers whose employees successfully complete the apprenticeship programme at Level 2 and Level 3. 

Employers often ask what the benefits are of using the ApprenticeshipsNI Programme for their current staff, or indeed, of using the scheme to help employ new staff. Below are two case histories which show the positive impact the programme has had on two individuals and their organisations.


Kenny Nixon, Rockmount Day Nursery

This is what Kenny’s employer said about his contribution to the nursery:

“Kenny is honest, dependable and very committed to his role as a Nursery assistant.  He works primarily with our preschool and primary school children and is a great member of the team.  He stand out primarily, as he is the only male member in a staff of 20.  He bring so much to the role as some of our children do not have a male role model in their lives.  Kenny is a good, positive role model to them, understands them and is very supportive to them when they need this.  The Apprenticeship programme has helped Kenny remain eager and has given him a thirst for developing his skills and learning, which in turn helps our organisation.”

This is what Kenny said about his Apprenticeship programme:

“This Apprenticeship has not only helped gain me a relevant qualification but it has also given me the confidence to go forward in my career.  I feel enthusiastic about my job and find it really rewarding.”

Craig Thompson People 1st

Craig’s employer, People 1st, had this to say:

“Craig came to work for People 1st as an Apprentice in September 2016.  A naturally shy person, Craig has worked hard at developing his skills as a member of our team.  His confidence has grown exponentially a he has proven himself both helpful and gifted in sorting out the day to day issues across seven sites and for over 60 colleagues.  Craig is an invaluable member of the team.”


Now read what Craig had to say about his experience on the programme:

“Over time I have been given more responsibility and when my Line Manager was on leave, I was in charge and I love it!  Not something I thought I would ever say!  The Apprenticeship programme gave me a direction that I didn’t know even existed.  I now have goals and aspirations for my future which far exceed any expectations I had back in school.  When I stop to think of myself now, in comparison to how I was back in 2015, I am amazed at the journey I have travelled.  I believe that other young people would see me as an example of how taking a chance of signing up for a training programme could really help change your life.  If others can see what I have done, they will believe they can do it too!”

If these stories have sparked your interest in the ApprenticeshipsNI programme, please just contact us on c.bell@people-1st.co.uk or telephone 02890 669669.


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