Why Do Some Employers Value Apprenticeships Over Other Qualifications? Rosana Beechum

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Employing the right people with the right skills and abilities is essential for a business to reach its true potential, which is why smart employers take time to find the perfect candidate for each opening they have. A candidate’s attitude, personality and ambition will all be given serious consideration, but it’s often their qualifications that carry the most weight during the recruitment process. This doesn’t necessarily mean qualifications gained at school or college, as many forward-thinking employers now value apprenticeships over other qualifications.

Practical Experience Is Valued Highly

Today’s business world is ever more competitive, and the looming Brexit is only increasing corporate uncertainty. For that reason, when businesses recruit they are looking for a new employee who can hit the ground running and make an immediate and positive contribution, rather than one who may first need extensive training. This is a primary reason why a candidate who has successfully completed an apprenticeship can be the most attractive proposition. Apprentices not only have the technical knowledge relevant to their job, they also have practical experience gained while actually doing the job itself.

All Round Training Produces Rounded Employees

Just because a job candidate has completed an apprenticeship doesn’t mean that they haven’t also spent time studying their field in greater depth, as you might expect someone with college qualifications or even degrees to possess. Businesses providing City & Guilds apprenticeships are required to provide qualification based training and/or rigorous end point assessments, which means that employers taking on a qualified apprentice will also be able to see exactly what skills and qualifications their new employee possesses. This can reduce the amount of training the employer has to provide, which in turn reduces the costs associated with recruitment.

Real Experience and Everyday Problem Solving

College and University graduates should know a great deal about the subject area they’ve been studying, but as we all know the actuality of jobs in the real world can be very different to reading about them on paper. One of the secrets to becoming a successful employee is to be able to identify potential problems and take steps to avoid them, or to be able to respond rapidly and positively to problems that have already occurred. On the job problem solving is a skill that can only be learned from experience of doing a job, and like most skills, the more a person does it, the better they become.

An Ability to Work Successfully Within a Team

Whether a business is a small to medium enterprise or a large company, one thing remains the same: they need all employees to work together effectively and towards the same goal. Recent graduates may have some experience of working with others during their studies, but a large part of their time would have been spent studying and researching on their own which is suited to their method of education. Apprentices, on the other hand, have vital experience of working successfully within a team under the supervision of peers, mentors and managers. The effective teamwork demonstrated by apprentices is one of the most valued skills by UK businesses today.

Businesses in all sectors, and of all sizes, should recognise the benefits that taking on apprentices can bring them, but they should also be aware of the many advantages that come from employing someone who has successfully completed their apprenticeship. Such people have a proven range of skills including the ability to work autonomously or within a team, timekeeping skills, the ability to think on their feet and solve problems, and first-hand experience of doing the actual job. With all these attributes and more to call upon, it’s little wonder that some employers value apprenticeships more highly than other qualifications.