How to solve your staffing problems with apprenticeships

Apprentice managers in a meeting

Following the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021 – when employees around the UK left their jobs in record numbers – new research has revealed that 95% of businesses are continuing to find it hard to retain staff.

Among those hardest hit have been financial and business services, with 100% of managers from that sector reporting that the pandemic has made staff retention more difficult.

Investing in people

Yet while over 90% of businesses believe that further training investment would help with recruitment and retention, almost half (46.7%) have been deterred from offering training opportunities for new and existing employees due to the time investment needed. This is despite 9 out of 10 of employees saying they would be more likely to stay in a role if their employer invested in their training from the outset.

The current barriers that businesses perceive around training include three-quarters of managers being concerned about the time it takes to upskill new members of staff at junior level. A further 40.7% of organisations are put off by the risk that an employee would leave after completing their training.

Flexible training options

The study showed that most businesses are interested in flexible training options, with 90% of employers saying they would consider front-loaded training to help speed-up the process. Almost 80% of employees would be more willing to start an apprenticeship or training course if they could condense learning into a shorter period.

Unlock skills and potential

“While most businesses see the value in training when it comes to attracting and retaining staff, too many believe they don’t have the time to invest in this,” says Jill Whittaker, Managing Director at the Executive Development Network. “But for those struggling with staff shortages, they can’t afford not to.

“As well as playing a role in attracting and retaining valuable team members, apprenticeships have always been one of the best ways to unlock skills quickly and fast-track staff into positions where they can offer real value. New flexible training models under consideration by the Government are set to make this process even quicker. For example, front-loaded training will be invaluable in helping apprentices to hit the ground running and operate efficiently for their employers from the very beginning.”

A new toolkit designed for business

To maximise the benefits businesses can reap from the flexible training options available, the Executive Development Network has released a toolkit answering common questions businesses may have about apprenticeships. The Q&A toolkit is also full of advice for employers desperate to solve their staffing issues by creating more opportunities to upskill their workforce.

To download the toolkit visit our resources page.