Apprenticeships are big news at the moment.
From talk of a new government ‘bounty’ to incentivise companies through to where exactly hiring young people fits into post-pandemic plans, the role of apprentices is in the spotlight – and that’s a good thing.
At FanFinders, we hired our first apprentice back in 2016. Since then, apprentices have been an important part of our talent pool and two have gone on to join us in permanent roles.
We’re not saying every company needs to rush out and hire several apprentices right this minute – that really depends on your support structures and plans for growth.
However, we were keen to share a bit about why we hired apprentices and some of the benefits they bring.
As far as the ‘why?’ – it’s simple. It was all about the value exchange of us needing people who can produce, while providing opportunities for people who may not otherwise get a chance to join our sector.
From our perspective, ‘learning on the job’ can be infinitely more valuable than learning in a prescribed way. Tech and data moves so fast that it can sometimes take a while for education to keep up.
We’ve also had the benefit of working with some excellent apprenticeship providers, such as LDN Apprenticeships, who have helped us to manage the process.
To find out more about the benefits of hiring apprentices, we caught up with FanFinders’ CEO Alec Dobbie, who spoke about five ways they bring value:
1) Different voices
In our experience, apprentices bring a lot to the table when it comes to their wider interests and lives. These unique voices and all of those things they’re doing outside of our company can be a huge asset. You just can’t beat having real ‘people’ who express themselves and even find ways to generate ideas from their external hobbies or studies.
2) Staying connected
As a company rooted in technology and digital, younger perspectives can be vital. Even with staying in the loop on latest trends, the truth is as you get older, you can still end up edging further away from what’s important to your audience. Young talent keeps us and our company in touch – whether it’s with new platforms or consumer habits.
3) Learning opportunities
When it comes to tech, youth, exuberance and lack of experience aren’t necessarily a negative – they can be a big win. When you’re starting from a base and with no prescriptions, you get to pick the exact way you go about doing things. These guided pathways – where we often see personality being applied – can lead to strong innovation and best practice.
4) No fear
When a company is willing to hire young people and listen to their ideas or new ways of working, it sends out a loud message to your market: we’re not scared of change. More ideas is never a bad thing, whereas burying your head in the sand while everything evolves around you can be severely detrimental.
5) A modern approach
Modern apprenticeships are a nice balance of some college time and your role with a company. While there are lots of graduate opportunity schemes and internships, I think the holistic view this gives a young person is really advantageous. Society generally tends to push people towards degrees, but perhaps we need to think more about the value being created for all parties.