It’s National Apprenticeship Week and the theme this year is ‘Apprenticeships Work’. This aims to showcase how apprenticeships are working for individuals, employers, the community and the wider economy as a whole. To celebrate, we’ve taken a quick look at how apprenticeships are working for us here at inniAccounts.
Apprenticeships were once only considered for gaining the skills needed for trade-based professions. Thankfully, times have changed, and many leading UK businesses are realising the talent acquisition and diversity benefits offered by professional apprenticeships.
92% of apprentices believe their career prospects were improved by their apprenticeship. Certainly, the individual rewards of learning on the job are easy to understand. Apprenticeships provide real career opportunities for young people, allowing them to gain practical experience in their intended field. As well as the opportunity to earn while learning from practising experts, apprentices acquire important ‘soft skills’ like confidence in the workplace; making them all the more attractive to employers. Many apprentices will get to enter the workforce with real experience and without the financial baggage that can come with rising tuition fees.
Apprenticeships are not only good for the individual, by bringing together new opinions and mindsets that promote innovation, they’re also great for industry. Apprenticeships are expected to contribute over £3.4 billion to the UK economy by 2022, making them an integral part of the labour market.
Meet our inniApprentices
Here at inniAccounts, we take pride in providing apprenticeship opportunities in our technical department each year.
‘Our apprentices are usually working on new features and innovative projects including working with cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining and mobile application development. We offer an opportunity for young people to learn about technologies that are growing in demand; alongside key workplace skills. In return, they’re helping us build our next generation of features, and we get their fresh ideas and enthusiasm.’
Paul Nicklin – Technology Director, inniAccounts
This time last year, we took a look at Ben’s experiences as an apprentice with inni. Ben’s no longer an apprentice with us – he’s now a fully-fledged integral member of our team! Having finished his Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship for IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals, Ben’s now a junior Software Developer. As well as being a member of our technical department, he works closely with the marketing team and can frequently be found helping out the client services team with his technical know-how. His role continues to grow in impact across the company.
‘The transition from apprentice to junior Software Developer was a smooth and seamless one; my responsibilities and involvement have just continued to grow. I’m very confident that I made the right decision going for an apprenticeship, not only did it secure me this role but I have some great experience on my CV now. I wouldn’t change anything. I’m in a good position in a company that challenges me to learn new things, and I know my work is appreciated.’
A few months back Liam joined us as an apprentice Software Developer. Liam is currently working on his Level 3 IT apprenticeship for Software Development Context, Methodologies and Programming while gaining key hands-on experience, guidance and support here at inniAccounts. He helps to code our new software features before testing them to ensure they work to the required standard. Liam is aiming to become a top-end developer.
‘Many jobs in software development require you to have experience, so I decided the best way to get started was in a working environment. An apprenticeship provides a great mix of learning with actual working and income. I feel my apprenticeship has taught me a lot about general working in an environment with organised procedures. By developing new features for inni’s mobile app, I’ve also developed my skills. I think I’ve gotten the hang of it now and have some great experience to use in the future. ‘
As well as working for the individuals in our company, we’ve found apprentices are great for our business as a whole. They’ve proven an excellent way to introduce and develop new in-house talent. Not only do we get enthusiastic new members of our team – we’ve found they have a knock-on effect with the rest of our employees. Apprentices have allowed us to allocate work better, freeing up our more experienced staff (so they can focus on bigger tasks and innovation) and their fresh approach and motivated attitude has proven contagious.
According to data from the National Apprenticeship Service, 72% of companies that have taken on apprentices believe it leads to a more enthused and satisfied workforce, and we can certainly vouch for that here.