What an Apprentice Added to My Business: A Case Study
William runs a small travel agency and when a business associate told him about the apprentice his company had hired, he decided to look into it.
“I have been running my travel agency for many years and it has gone from a tiny business in my spare room to the point where I am now employing six people. I have employed people from a range of ages and backgrounds and some have been more successful than others. I must admit I have always leant towards employing more mature people as I found them to be more reliable. However, when my colleague told me how successful their apprentice had been I decided that it was worth investigating.
“I contacted the apprenticeship helpline who sent me some information to read over. It sounded like a really good scheme and so I decided that I would take on an apprentice at my company. I had fairly strict requirements about what I was looking for and was determined not to just take on the first young person who walked through my door.”
Choosing an Apprentice“I held interviews with the few applicants that seemed to stand out and set a series of questions for them. They were all very competent but my gut instinct told me to go for a young girl who was very bright and bubbly. She seemed passionate about travel and I was happy with my decision. She started at the agency two weeks later.”
Once William had chosen his apprentice he had to work quickly to put together a training scheme for her.
“As much as I wanted to gain from having an apprentice I also wanted to make sure that I was giving just as much back. I spent a lot of time working on my training scheme and getting feedback from my other employees. I found the curriculum for her NVQ as well so that I could make sure that I was complementing it but not repeating the same information.“
Benefits of an Apprentice“My new apprentice took to her role straight away and picked up everything very quickly. She was well presented, enthusiastic and keen to learn and I think all of these qualities rubbed off on my other staff. I felt as though the atmosphere in the office had been lifted and that people had been given a new injection of life.
“The other thing I found was that whereas my other staff, who were all older, had come with experience, my apprentice was a clean slate. This allowed me to teach her everything just the way I needed it and I didn’t need to break any bad habits that she had built up.
“All in all, taking on an apprentice has been a great move for me and my company. It has helped everyone look at the work we do with a fresh perspective and has let us feed of her enthusiasm and youth. I would suggest to anyone that they should look into it as the benefits are definitely worth the effort."