Supporting young Apprentices: Guidance for Employers
As an employer, when you are employing a young apprentice, there are factors that need to be considered. A major one being how we should provide them with support in their work. So, we have listed a few tips and tricks, that we find useful, to help you give your young apprentices the support they need.
- Make sure staff are confident supporting a young apprentice
A major factor when you hire a young apprentice is if your current staff are willing, and able, to support work alongside them. This should be applied to all staff who will be working closely with the apprentice, so it doesn’t only include managers & supervisors. Your staff have to be understand that an apprentice may not have as much knowledge in the subject, or even in office culture so they will have to be patient.
If a young apprentice is joining a team, each team member should ensure that the apprentice is comfortable with their role within their team. They should have realistic expectations but still offer the apprentice meaningful & challenging work to help them build confidence, develop their skills & knowledge and their experience.
A great way to ensure your staff is prepared is having a team briefing, letting everyone know that a new member will be joining the team. This will give them, and you, time to establish if the team is fit to support the apprentice, and put any measures in place, if needs be.
- Work with the apprentice & training provider (e.g., Blue Lion Training Academy) to identify and address support needs
When a new person joins your group of staff, establishing and outlining any support needs is important, and it’s no different when you hire a young apprentice. By working with both the apprentice and training provider, you should identify any support needs that the apprentice may have and then implement these into the workplace. This will mean that the support that the apprentice receives is effective, allowing your young apprentice to work productively.
Before a young apprentice starts work, you can speak to their training provider to find out if they have any specific support needs, and how to address them. Doing this before the apprentice joins your team will allow them to get stuck in straight away, without any obstacles or difficulties.
When you work with the training provider, they should conduct a thorough assessment which will identify and outline if the apprentice needs supporting in any way. Here at Blue Lion Training Academy, we organise an onboarding meeting with our apprentices which includes finding out if the learner has any support needs. Once this is done, all parties are notified of any information that they need to help them create an environment which is suitable for the apprentice.
- Provide a thorough induction
You may be thinking “All staff require a thorough induction” and you would be right, but a young apprentice may need additional training to help them understand their role and expectations. By doing so, you will ensure that they are comfortable within their role, and therefore are supporting them in their work and development.
Some key information you should include in a young apprentice’s induction includes:
– Making sure they understand exactly what is expected of them as an employee, which includes: how they should organise their time, their time management, office dress-code, and general work behaviours
– Making sure they understand their job description, and therefore their role. Help them understand how to effectively complete their work and how it, and they, contributes within the wider team.
With Blue Lion Training Academy, the apprentice will receive off-the-job training which will outline all these factors, helping them become a valued member of your team.
- Offer additional support to develop work-appropriate behaviour & life-skills
Some young apprentices may have never been in a work environment, and therefore may need additional support to develop office behaviours and general employability skills. This could simply be done through mentoring & one-to-one sessions from a senior staff member, such as a line manager. Or you could invest in general employability training, either from your training provider or another organisations.
You could even involve other apprentices, or employees, in this training, acting as a refresher. This could help in supporting your young apprentice and making get comfortable with the team.
- Involve them in social enrichment activities
When a new member of staff joins the team, they may often feel lonely and isolated, hence why it is important to have a thorough induction, which should include an informal introduction to the team. A young apprentice may be prone to being lonely, particularly if they are among an older workforce. Furthermore, as a young apprentice, they may feel that they are missing out on the social aspects of university.
A great way to overcome this hurdles is by inviting new young apprentices, and new staff in general, to social outings. Whether it be casual meal or a social enrichment activity, like bowling. Both versions will allow your new staff to get to know their colleagues on a more personal level, and therefore create a more relaxed office space. This will help the apprentice settle into their role and apprenticeship, and hopefully mean they can enjoy the start of a new chapter for them.