Advice from John Burroughs, managing director of Uniglobe Preferred Travel

Taking on an apprentice can bring both parties major benefits, from increased productivity to helping young people get experience in the workplace and “earn while they learn”.

According to the National Apprenticeship Service, nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice reports benefits to their business (96%) while 72% report improved productivity as a result of employing 
an apprentice.

John Burroughs, managing director of business travel company Uniglobe Preferred Travel, outlines six tips for choosing the right apprentice for your business.

1. Assess your business

Look at your staffing needs, taking into account strategic goals, including growth, existing training and development and succession plans. Decide where you will need additional staff in the business.

2. Do your homework

The National Apprenticeship Service is a good starting point. There are numerous levels and courses that are suitable to the travel industry. Once you have decided which roles an apprentice would suit in the business, talk to training providers, as how and when they provide apprentices can differ. Also read their Ofsted reports.

3. Get the support of your organisation

By sharing information about what apprenticeships are, the benefits and how to plan, it is possible to get the support of management.

The directors and managers need to understand what is involved and support the plan to ensure it’s a success. Encouraging questions from across the business allows for understanding. If you are taking on several apprentices, consider appointing a coordinator.

4. Partnership with the training organisation

Once you’ve selected your training provider, form a relationship and encourage them to come into the workplace. Discuss how and where the training will be provided; what is expected from you and the organisation; and the method of feedback for progress and attendance.

5. Recruiting your apprentice

Although the training provider will advertise and carry out the initial interviews and generally support you, you should treat the recruitment of your apprentice as you would any other vacancy. Once you’ve appointed your apprentice, treat them as you would any new employee, which means inducting them in the same way – they are an employee, just like everyone else.

6. Review progress

Ensure your apprentice’s progress is regularly reviewed and give feedback. If you’ve taken on a young person or someone returning to work, you’ll need to provide some extra support initially, until they have settled into the organisation and got to grips with their training.

Lastly, enjoy having an enthusiastic and motivated young person bringing fresh ideas into your organisation – we certainly have.