Apprenticeship week: Encouraging students to take up apprenticeships

Apprenticeship week runs from the March 6 to March 10: We explore how employers can encourage young talent to take up apprenticeship opportunities with MyKindaFuture

Apprenticeship week runs from the March 6 to March 10 and – coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service – it celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships and traineeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy. The following looks at how employers can encourage young talent to take up apprenticeship opportunities 

New research from the UK’s biggest emerging talent specialist, MyKindaFuture, has revealed that businesses need to actively spend time on raising awareness of their brand values, whilst connecting with young people digitally, in order to build their talent pipeline and meet the government’s three million apprenticeship target by 2020.

Research showed a third of young people hold back from applying for apprenticeship programmes as they fear they would be considered inferior routes by their peers

Reading the research

The research released to mark Apprenticeship Week 2017, shows employers need to focus more on helping young people understand what their brand and organisation stands for, as over 50% of young people surveyed said they are attracted to a company with strong ethics. Additionally, a business culture which encourages continuous training and development, is an area that two thirds of young people say they are actively looking for from their future career.

Number crunching
• 50% of young people attracted to a company with strong ethics
• Two thirds of young people desire continuous training and development opportunities
• Only a quarter view apprenticeships as leading to a career
• 64% go online to look for apprenticeships

Remember, remember…the Apprenticeship Levy

With just a month to go before the Apprenticeship Levy goes live on April 6, employers need to review, and in some cases, overhaul how they attract emerging talent, as negative perceptions of apprenticeships are still putting young people off applying for these roles. Research showed a third of young people hold back from applying for apprenticeship programmes as they fear they would be considered inferior routes by their peers.

Many graduate recruiters will also manage apprenticeship recruitment for their business

Future career paths

The disconnect between young people’s ideas of what a fulfilling career entails and pressing business skills needs means employers could improve how they show what exactly an apprenticeship entails. This could involve also demonstrating how apprenticeships fit with the organisation’s mission and vision and the long-term benefits to young people. Fifty-eight per cent of young people would views themselves still ‘in training’ while undertaking an apprenticeship. With only a quarter seeing themselves as having a career following completion and with 75% viewing a good salary as being a key reason to apply for an apprenticeship.

Improving strategies

Many graduate recruiters will also manage apprenticeship recruitment for their business. Sixteen to 24-year-olds spend over 27 hours a week online, so employers need to be more strategic about how they engage with young people digitally. Only 45% of young people surveyed would look for an apprenticeship on a job board, whilst nearly two thirds (64%) of young people would look directly on a company’s website when looking for an apprenticeship.

Industry awareness amongst young people differs with construction, engineering and energy sector are still the most well-known, with two thirds (65%) associating the industry with apprenticeships. Forty-two per cent believe advertising, media and marketing run apprenticeship programmes, followed by banking and finance (38%), technology (38%), accountancy (34%), hospitality (29%) and retail (29%).

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