National apprenticeship week 2023: Overcoming barriers to hiring apprentices

Jennifer Davies
Reading time:
5 mins
February 10, 2023

Here at Tazio, we believe that apprenticeships are a fantastic way for employers to develop their future workforce and solve growing skills shortages. Currently, we help a variety of large employers to create and deliver high-quality apprentice recruitment campaigns at speed and scale. That is why we are proud supporters of National Apprenticeship Week!

What is National Apprenticeship Week?

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is an annual event that takes place in the UK, with the goal of raising awareness of the benefits and accessibility of apprenticeships for both candidates and employers.  

Coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service during NAW, employers, training providers, candidates and incumbent apprentices are encouraged to participate in a variety of events and activities that highlight the value of apprenticeships. These events and activities can often include webinars, Q&A sessions, insightful talks, and introductions to apprenticeship schemes being offered by employers.

Each year NAW is also given a theme to which a lot of the talks and activities are based around. For example, the theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2023 is “Skills for Life.” This theme reflects on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.

Overall, NAW is an important event that celebrates the benefits of apprenticeships and raises awareness of the opportunities they provide. Whether you're an employer looking to recruit and train skilled workers, or an individual looking to develop your skills and advance your career, apprenticeships are a valuable option to consider.

Perceived barriers to hiring an apprentice

While the advantages of hiring apprentices are undeniable; locating, recruiting, and managing them can be complex, especially for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Below, we'll take a look at some of the difficulties and problems that come with recruiting apprentices.

Finding the right candidates

For anyone in working recruitment or talent acquisition, finding the right candidate can be difficult. The same can be said for businesses looking take advantage of apprenticeship talent. With the current job market being so competitive and the high volume of candidates seeking apprenticeship opportunities, it can be a challenge to find the right candidate that’s fit for your business.

Funding and finances

Another challenge for many organisations when looking to roll out their apprenticeship schemes is the funding and financials behind it. There are many situations where businesses can be offered funding to set up these schemes. The UK government for example offers many different Kickstarter programmes that could financially aid the creation of your apprenticeship scheme. However, for those ineligible for the support, the process can be a lot more complicated.

Managing and training

Once you have successfully onboarded your apprentice, you must now think about how you manage their development. Including the skills and knowledge they need to start supporting your business, in the way that you need them too. For many, SMEs this can be a very overwhelming thought, often consuming a lot of your time and resources.

Balancing workload and responsibilities

In addition to your management of training, you must also consider how you balance your apprentices workload and responsibilities. It’s important that you find a happy medium between ensuring that they are contributing to the businesses progression, developing their skills and knowledge, and most importantly enjoying themselves.

The importance of apprenticeships  

Holding significant importance for both individuals and businesses, apprenticeships are a highly regarded combination of both education and on the job training. In this section we'll take a look at some of the reasons ‘why’ apprenticeships are important to modern day careers, and what makes them so attractive for individuals and businesses.

Skill development

Providing individuals with the perfect opportunity to gain on the job experience. Apprenticeships combine a fine balance of education and training, presenting the perfect environment for skills and knowledge development. For employers this unique combination allows for the development of future employees that could seriously impact the everlasting success of their business.

Career advancement

A great starting point for many careers, apprenticeships are a flexible and affordable solution for employees looking to strengthen their business. For individuals that participate in and complete an apprenticeship scheme, it is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to potential employers and highlight their commitment to an organisation. Overall, they are a great way of helping individuals to stand out in a competitive talent pool.

Employer benefits

Being a cost-effective method of recruiting, training, and retaining skilled employees, apprenticeships can help employers mitigate their current skills gaps and fill critical roles within their business. With the correct investment, apprentices can provide organisations with a pipeline of skilled employees that will facilitate their future growth and success.

Economic benefits

From an economic perspective, apprenticeships play a significant role in the strength of any economy. For many UK businesses, apprentices can deliver the necessary skills and growth needed to make them more competitive outside of their home market. The UK government is a key supporter of apprenticeship schemes across the nation, helping organisations to develop skilled and future ready workforces, ensuring long-term economic growth and prosperity.

Diversity and inclusivity

In addition to being economically beneficial, apprenticeships are a great alternative to traditional career pathways often stemming from higher education. The schemes offered by businesses provide candidates with the opportunity to develop their skills and experiences, regardless of their background, race, religion, or age. Subsequently, apprenticeships are a superb example of how modern-day diversity and inclusion practises are being evolved, helping to supply everyone with an opportunity to reach their full potential.

What Is Tazio?

Simply put, Tazio are the experts in creating future talent recruitment campaigns for graduate, apprentice and entry-level roles that reduce recruiter and hiring manager workload, speed up time to hire, increase objectivity, and promote diversity in the workplace.

We specialise in the design, delivery and hosting of online graduate, apprentice, and early careers recruitment campaigns for some of the world's largest employers. Take a look at what our platform can offer:  

A streamlined approach to apprentice hiring

Trusted by organisations such as BNP Paribas, Unilever, The Crown Prosecution Service, and many more, Tazio creates end to end hiring processes that quickly evaluate candidates' skills and suitability. Whilst simultaneously engaging them and supplying a clear insight into the role and the culture of the organisation.  

Often described as "one experience assessments", these typically combine a Realistic Job Preview, usually in the form of videos or audio snippets, a Situational Judgement Test (SJT), or values-based assessment, all rounded up with an automated interview. Whilst this might seem like a lot for one individual to complete the process in extremely straightforward and accessible through our unique candidate platform.  

Typically, this series of assessments and tests usually takes candidates less than 30 minutes to complete. Once they have completed the process, our reporting and data analysis tools will allow you to review how each candidate has performed based on the criteria outlined for the role. You’ll also be presented with an overall fit score for each participant, allowing you to easily identify the top performers.

Want to learn more?

If you’d like to learn more about how Tazio can take you're apprenticeship recruitment strategy to the next level, get in touch with one of our friendly experts by using the details below.

02922 331 888

Jennifer Davies

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