One of the lettings industry’s most prominent suppliers says it’s dispelled five myths surrounding the employment of apprentices.
The Letting Partnership insists apprentices are cost effective to employ, will add value to a business, are likely to stay on after their apprenticeship is over, and bring fresh perspectives and new ideas.
Chris Mason, operations manager at the firm, says: “The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that more 16 to 24 year olds have dropped out of the UK workforce than any other age group.
“Year-on-year, between September to November 2020, there were around 200,000 fewer 16 to 24 year-olds in employment, so there is a need to create more opportunities for them.
“Our experience of hiring apprentices at The Letting Partnership has been so positive. They have helped our business to grow, are bright, dedicated and full of enthusiasm.”
He continues: “The lettings industry would certainly be an exciting place for any young person to start their career and we think apprentices have a lot to offer. We hired three apprentices after we witnessed a surge in demand for our outsourced client accounting and Client Money Protection services this year and they have already helped our business to grow while rising to the challenge of working remotely during the pandemic. We couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Myth 1: It’s time-consuming: The Letting Partnership says taking on any new member of staff comes with a cost in terms of time. “Training a new team member, regardless of their level of experience will take up resources. We found that our apprentices were quick to learn and hard-working, arriving with a lot of enthusiasm and commitment to succeed.”
Myth 2: They are inexperienced: "We discovered that the Level 3 Business Administration courses provided our apprentices with a fantastic grounding and they came armed with knowledge about how businesses work. They also brought their own fresh ideas and the rest of the team is actually learning from them too. The truth is apprentices can help to upskill a workforce.
Myth 3: It’s expensive: “With initiatives such as the government’s Kickstart scheme offering funding to businesses which take on apprentices, it can be a cost-effective way of hiring new team members. The scope of Kickstart has just been expanded so that smaller businesses can take part too. Apprentices can quickly help a business to scale up and grow, so they can have a direct impact on the bottom line.”
Myth 4: It’s complicated: “Our own experience … has been extremely straightforward. We have been so impressed by the quality of candidates, and by the process, that we are planning to take on more apprentices in the future.”
Myth 5: Apprentices leave after qualifying: “The Letting Partnership hired its first apprentices in 2016, beginning with John Westwood who is now the Client Induction Lead, who has taken on full responsibility for onboarding and settling in new clients since he passed his apprenticeship. He was followed by Ocean-Lee Parker, who passed her apprenticeship in September 2020 and accepted a full-time role as a Client Accounts Administrator, mentoring our latest new apprentices who joined in the summer.”