Now is the time to take on an apprentice

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Taking on an apprentice can be a strategic move, especially with the current circumstances in New Zealand. As high school students prepare to finish their exams, there’s a fresh pool of young talent entering the job market. Moreover, the Apprenticeship Boost scheme, a government initiative aimed at supporting both employers and apprentices, has been extended until December 2024, making this an opportune time to consider a new hire.

Apprenticeship Boost

The Apprenticeship Boost program, launched in August 2020, has already made a significant impact on the economy. It has extended its financial support to 20,000 employers and over 62,000 apprentices. The core incentive offered by Apprenticeship Boost is financial assistance to employers in their efforts to retain and recruit new apprentices. Through this scheme, businesses can receive $500 per month per apprentice for a duration of up to 24 months, providing substantial financial relief and motivation to participate in apprenticeship programs.

One of the notable achievements of this program has been the increased participation of women in fields that have historically been male-dominated, such as construction and architecture. This shift signifies a positive change in the workforce landscape, promoting diversity and inclusivity in industries that have long needed it – and doubling the candidate pool.

Growing your organisation

Taking on an apprentice comes with its set of advantages. Firstly, it allows your business to cultivate a skilled workforce tailored to your specific needs, ensuring a continuous supply of trained and proficient employees. Apprenticeships also introduce fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the workplace, revitalising the company’s culture and driving creativity. Moreover, apprenticeships foster a sense of loyalty and commitment among participants, as they benefit from hands-on training and mentorship, creating a win-win scenario for both employers and apprentices.

It’s not all a bed of roses

However, there are potential drawbacks as well. There’s an initial investment of time and resources required to train an apprentice, which may temporarily impact productivity levels. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that every apprentice will remain with the company for the long term, and attrition can occur. Despite these challenges, the long-term benefits of nurturing skilled talent often outweigh the initial drawbacks, especially when considering the government’s financial support of $500 per month per apprentice, which can help offset the costs associated with training and potential productivity dips.

Building the future

Embracing apprenticeship programs in your business can be a strategic and forward-thinking move, especially with the extended support provided by the Apprenticeship Boost scheme. The advantages of creating a skilled workforce, promoting innovation, and fostering loyalty often overshadow the initial investment and potential short-term challenges. With the right approach, taking on an apprentice can be a valuable investment in the future of your company, contributing to a skilled and diverse workforce that benefits both your business and the broader community.

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