Employers willing to pay more for good apprentices

A study has shown that 92 per cent of employers are willing to pay more than the typical apprenticeship wage, provided they’re matched with the right apprentices.

The research, carried out by Positive Outcomes, questioned 100 UK employers over their attitudes towards apprentices in the run-up to the GCSE and A-Level results days.

As part of the study, employers were asked, ‘Are you prepared to offer more money than the standard apprenticeship wage for the right apprentice?’ to which 92 per cent said ‘yes’, with only 8 per cent responding ‘no’.

Ryan Longmate, managing director of Positive Outcomes says, ‘The combined research findings have certainly thrown up an interesting suggestion. That, despite young people thinking otherwise, employers are open-minded when it comes to pay and that, should the right candidate come along, they’re willing to pay more than the standard wage.’

The study also questions employers about the wages they are likely to pay should they offer a full-time position to a former apprentice who had completed an apprenticeship scheme with them.

A quarter (25 per cent) state they would pay between £12,000 and £13,999, 24 per cent say they would pay between £14,000 and £15,999, while 11 per cent report they would pay between £16,000 and £17,999.

When combined, those figures suggest that 60 per cent of post-apprenticeship employers would pay between £12,000 and £18,000 as a starting salary for an apprenticeship-qualified employee.

Longmate adds, ‘The minimum wage for 18-20 year olds per hour in the UK is £5.30. When taken as an annual salary, based on a 37.5 hour week, this equates to around £10,300 per year. Our research suggests then that the vast majority of employers are willing to pay considerably more than that for an apprenticeship-qualified employee.’

The value of good apprentices

Jeremy Stern, managing director of marketing company PromoVeritas, took on his first-ever apprentice 18 months ago and says it has been a great success.

‘Matt joined us straight from school and we enrolled him a course on project management one day a week,’ Stern says. The rest of the week he was in the office helping the company to deliver projects with tasks including from picking winners of prize draws, calling them to congratulate them on their win, buying the prizes or sorting out the paperwork and invoicing to clients.

‘He has proved to be a great learner, able to blend the experience from the office with the academic principles of his course.’

The achievements of the apprentice were recognised just last month when Matt won the title Apprentice of the Year in an Awards ceremony organised by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

‘Matt has progressed in terms of salary and is now earning a good amount, and we are looking to take on a new apprentice in the autumn,’ Stern continues.

A culture of encouraging young people to build a career in engineering is prevalent at Massey Truck Engineering. Company secretary Simon Willis, says that some of the company’s senior managers originally joined the business as apprentices.

The company used Skills Made Easy, which provides a range of training and apprenticeship advice, to help with access to suitable candidates as well as working with them to develop a hybrid apprenticeship programme, tailored specifically to suit the needs of our business.

One of the apprentices hired by Massey was 19-year-old Joe White, who started his apprenticeship in January. White says, ‘I decided to apply for the apprenticeship and saw it as a way of bettering myself and building a career. I was fortunate enough to be given a chance and it was a real eye-opener for me; I had no idea how much work was involved in building a truck!’

White adds, ‘During my apprenticeship, I’ve been learning about health and safety as well as developing my engineering skills. I’ve not got much longer left on my apprenticeship and so I’m also able to help [fellow apprentice] Elliot learn how to do the job. It’s hard work, challenging at times, but very rewarding.’

Further reading on managing staff

 

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