How to get the best from your apprentices

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Do you wonder what it will be like to work with an apprentice? And how can you get the best from them?

In today's post as part of National Apprenticeship Week, Simon Cutler, Learning and Development Manager at Ishida Europe, shares his experiences with us.

Ishida currently has 13 apprentices and is recruiting 3 more in 2015. This shows the value we feel they bring to our business. Here at Ishida we recognise apprentices as valuable individuals who have the educational and vocational skills to really make a difference to our company. They are our talent pipeline, our way of introducing fresh new talent into our organisation, and building a solid team for the future.

I have always found apprentices to be 100% committed, enthusiastic, and reliable. Again, the fact that we are growing our numbers of apprentices shows how positively we feel about them.

Be receptive and open minded
In my experience, managing an apprentice or apprentices is a very rewarding role. I find the best approach is to have an open and receptive mind, to listen to their needs and wants, and treat every apprentice as an individual. Skill sets, hopes and aspirations will differ from each apprentice to the next, so get to know and understand them.

Provide structure and goals
It's also important to give them a structured framework of objectives and goals. This can of course be moveable, but having this framework in place means everyone knows the role of each apprentice in the organisation. It also offers an opportunity for guidance and advice, which helps to build strong relationships between a manager and the apprentice.

Motivate with skills focused extras
To motivate our apprentices, we offer extensive training in addition the training which forms part of their qualification. For example, our design apprentices are all given the opportunity to train and gain professional status in using Solid Works, a highly regarded design software programme. We also encourage our apprentices to get involved in wider business activities, such as representing Ishida at careers fairs.

Empower your apprentices to own their future
And it's not just the tangible benefits we use to motivate our apprentices such as training and pay. We empower them and make sure they know that the apprenticeship is what they make of it – it's their opportunity to forge a successful career in a growing company, something many people would dream of.

For any businesses considering taking on an apprentice I would highly recommend this method of recruitment and bringing in new talent. You have so much to gain from taking on an apprentice – a highly skilled individual who is integrated in the ways of your business, bringing the benefits of both educational knowledge and vocational training.

Ishida and EEF
Ishida began working with apprentices in 2011, starting with two apprentices. By the end of this year the company will have 16 apprentices, working in both Poole and Birmingham, across many different divisions. These include manufacturing operations, technical design and electrics and electrical design.

EEF has been recruiting apprentices on behalf of Ishida since the company’s programme began in 2011. They now recruit and train all of Ishida’s manufacturing and engineering apprentices.

Find out more
Talk to EEF about starting or getting more value from your apprenticeship programme. Call 0121 331 3930. 

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