Numerous studies by various European organizations highlight that small business are unable to find the employees they need to fill open positions, limiting opportunities for growth while raising costs. At the same time, Europe as a whole still suffers from relatively high unemployment – a phenomenon known as the skills gap. This means that the skills which the population currently hold, are not necessarily the skills employers need.
Solving this problem requires an approach made up of three pillars. First, educational institutions need to offer courses which teach the skills needed by the labour market. Second, areas where such skill-gaps exist need to be made attractive, so that students actually want to study and follow these subjects, and finally employers need to do their part to help students better prepare for the labour market.
For small and medium enterprises, one of the easiest way to contribute to lessening this skills gap is by offering apprenticeships, whereby they agree to host students for short periods of training within their company, giving students the chance to learn much-needed practical skills. While apprenticeships are clearly of value to students, they are also extremely valuable to your company. Research shows that apprenticeships boost profitability, boost employability and boost company image.
Profitability is boosted because apprentices add to your labour force, allowing your company to increase output, but also because they bring with them new techniques, skills and ideas which can allow you to improve quality.
Employability is boosted because apprenticeships improve your recruitment. Rather than issue a job call, and assess candidates based on CVs of dubious utility, apprenticeships give you the opportunity to test out graduates’ skills at the workplace and see whether they are a good fit for your company culture. Studies show that employees who join companies after apprenticeships remain longer with the company, get promoted faster and tend to be more efficient than people recruited through other means.
Finally, apprenticeships boost your company’s image by showing your commitment to growing your economic sector, helping young people and supporting local communities. Since apprentices also gain a lot out of their first job experience and your mentorship, they also tend to make great brand ambassadors for your product.
So, what are you waiting for? Find out more about apprenticeships at www.learntowork.eu and boost your company today!