Why hire an apprentice if you’re a tech SME

Employer, Insights

| Reading time - 5 mins

According to a study by The Tech Partnership, over 50% of small-to-medium employers have reported difficulties with finding and recruiting the right candidates onto an apprenticeship. And it certainly isn’t getting any easier for SMEs in today’s challenging tech talent market, especially when partnered with reduced budgets for hiring, reskilling and training.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to tackle these challenges, and one that will reduce both time and financial investments for tech SME employers.

Hire new recruits onto an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes delivered by a registered apprenticeship training provider. They can be used to upskill existing staff or employers can recruit new people onto an apprenticeship vacancy. And some apprenticeship training providers, like Intequal, provide an apprenticeship recruitment service to find motivated and enthusiastic talent for your business.

You may wish to attract emerging talent that’s leaving education so has limited work experience but a strong passion for technology and progression. Or candidates may be career changers with good professional skills and a keen interest to start fresh in a thriving industry.

Aligning an apprenticeship to a digital or IT job vacancy provides a competitive edge and an enticing offer for both emerging talent and career changers. Candidates are drawn to the development and progression opportunities that apprenticeships provide. Plus, there are numerous other benefits for SMEs when hiring an apprentice.

Access a wider pool of talent in your local community

Diversity and inclusion are key priorities for people and businesses, and apprenticeships are a fantastic way to attract a wider pool of talent from your local community. Anyone aged 16 and over can start an apprenticeship and apprentices from different backgrounds and age groups bring new, innovative ideas to the workplace. Intequal have an impartial approach to remove unconscious bias during the apprentice recruitment process.

Improved retention and succession planning

It’s a fact that apprentices are more likely to stay with their employers as they feel valued and have experienced real progression; 92% of Intequal’s apprentices stay with their employer after completing their apprenticeship. Apprentice retention is an important part of succession planning for SMEs.

Often businesses only find themselves having to backfill with another apprentice once they’ve completed their programme and moved into a full-time permanent job. Read about Phoenix Software’s experience of using apprenticeships to build their tech talent pipeline through succession planning.

Receive government financial incentives

As an employer hiring an apprentice, you can receive fantastic government financial incentives. You’ll be eligible for a £1,000 payment if you choose to hire a young apprentice aged 16-18 years old, or an apprentice aged 19-25 who has an education, health and care (EHC) plan or has been in the care of their local authority.

There’s additional incentives for SMEs taking on apprentices, which you can read more about here.

How Intequal help with apprentice recruitment

We find the talent so that you can save time

As an employer or hiring manager you won’t have to worry about advertising your apprenticeship vacancy and spending time processing CVs. Intequal’s in-house apprentice recruitment team manage the full recruitment process from application to interview and presenting offers to your successful candidate.

We create a tailored job description and advertise the vacancy on targeted apprenticeship job boards including Get My First Job, The National Apprenticeship Service, Indeed, Just Apply, Reed and social media. We receive hundreds of monthly applications from eager candidates looking to start or progress their career in tech.

Our team monitors and reviews all applications to identify the most suitable applicants for each apprenticeship vacancy. We carry out the necessary apprenticeship eligibility & suitability checks, taking the key criteria that’s important to you in a candidate into consideration, such as personal traits, interests and skills or any previous experience.

We’ll conduct first-stage interviews and identify up to three of the best candidates for you. At this stage, we’ll ask for your time to meet and interview the shortlisted candidates. Once you’ve chosen a successful candidate, we’ll present the offer to your new apprentice. Our end-to-end apprentice recruitment process will bring new talent to your company within 4 to 6 weeks.

From onboarding to on-the-job training within one month

Once your apprentice has started employment, you’ll carry out your routine employee onboarding while we get started with the apprenticeship enrolment process. This usually takes 2-4 weeks, which means apprentices will start their technical training within one month of joining your company.

Intequal’s apprenticeship training is delivered on-the-job and at the workplace through online sessions. Read more about our apprenticeship delivery model here.

With Intequal, there’s no extra recruitment fees

Some training providers will charge a fee for apprentice recruitment, but others, like Intequal, will include the costs as part of the apprenticeship. This means that other than the cost of the apprenticeship training, which can be covered up to 95% by the government, you won’t have any other financial investments when using Intequal to hire and train an apprentice. That’s right, our digital and IT apprentice recruitment service is free.
“The apprenticeship candidates presented to us by Intequal have been stars, keen to go forward and learn more in a role that really sparks their interest.”

Martin Greening, Absolute Technology

A tailored apprentice recruitment service

Speak to our team today

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