In the past, apprenticeships have been limited to more physical trades such as plumbing and plastering, but there is a wide variety of opportunities available today spanning most fields of work, from business and accounting to science and IT roles.
With an increase in university fees, many secondary school graduates are looking for a less expensive and more practical way for them to carry on their education. Also, many businesses are struggling to find skilled workers.
Apprenticeships have emerged as one of the more popular solutions to both issues. Engaging an apprentice in your organisation is a great way to train and mould an individual into a valuable future employee. For the apprentice, they will receive education and a salary from day one.
Apprenticeships can give people the opportunity to gain industry experience alongside a recognised qualification, making them a particularly strong option for sectors experiencing a skills shortage.
The cyber security industry is an especially good example of a sector which has a lot to gain from attracting new talent through apprenticeships. For example, offering apprentice roles such as cyber analyst or software engineer would provide a great opening for someone who already has an interest in these areas.
Identifying suitable candidates
Finding suitable candidates for an apprentice position can be done in two ways. First, you can use the government Finding an Apprentice website. Here you will find a database of potential candidates seeking apprenticeship placements, information on the legal requirements of employing an apprentice and guidance on the procedure of finding and interviewing potential candidates.
Second, you can contact an apprenticeship provider directly. They will also have a database of apprenticeship seekers and can guide you through the process, offering help and support regarding training, payment and employment regulations.
>See also: Demand for cyber security skills increasing
It’s worth researching the different methods available for managing the apprenticeship and which one will suit your organisation best. Some programmes will require the apprentice to spend quite a lot of time away from the business on training, which may be a limiting factor for the business and the candidate alike – although there is always a minimum amount of training they must do in order to achieve the qualification.
Once they have been selected, candidates will go through a face-to-face interview process to assess their suitability. It’s worth bearing in mind that this will likely be the first job interview for some candidates, so a relaxing and involving atmosphere can go a long way to calming nerves. Both the employee and employer are supported throughout the whole process by the provider.
Progress of the apprentice is monitored by an assessor assigned to the learner by the provider. This is done through regular assessments and class-based sessions. The employer is also responsible for ensuring the apprentice receives adequate education at work.
An apprenticeship is a partnership between the employer and learner, and by giving the candidate sufficient training and interesting tasks, the company can also develop them into a valuable member of the team.
Taking on an apprentice can be beneficial to all involved. The business has the opportunity to guide and mould a bright individual so they develop into a valued employee who can contribute to their business.
Apprentices benefit from being in the perfect situation where they receive structured training that leads to a recognised qualification, and simultaneously gain work experience.
The skills gap – particularly in fields like IT and security – is an ongoing issue, and we need more cyber security businesses to consider taking on apprentices if the industry is to begin closing the gap.
Sourced by Helen Wheatley, Head of HR, Becrypt
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