How Your Service Business Can Implement an Apprenticeship Program

  • September 18, 2017
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This article on how to implement an apprenticeship program was written by Christine Juszczak, MBA, Recruitment Consultant and Owner of Key Recruitment Consulting.

As a business owner, hiring qualified employees to help meet organizational goals is one of your most important responsibilities. Finding the right people to seamlessly fit into your organization and remain loyal and committed to you can be extremely challenging in the current competitive job market.

So how can you find the right people who will be committed to learning your unique business processes and willing to stay loyal to you long-term? A great solution is to consider implementing an apprenticeship program as part of your recruitment strategy.

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are work terms offered by employers to help skilled trades professionals earn the work experience portion of their certification. More commonly known apprenticeship programs include plumbing apprenticeships and electrician apprenticeships, but there are hundreds of skilled trades occupations including bakers, welders, landscape horticulturists and more.

Apprenticeship programs offer countless benefits for both the apprentice and the employer. Below are the benefits of hiring an apprentice and a simple step-by-step guide on how to hire and onboard an apprentice.

The Benefits of Implementing an Apprenticeship Program

As mentioned, the labor market is a highly competitive place. Advertising to prospective hires that you are willing to sponsor them as an apprentice is a sure-fire way for your business to stand out as an employer of choice.

Prospective hires will want to work for an employer that is willing to support them in gaining a certification and will commit to them for the long term. A recent survey of apprentices in Canada found that participants develop a loyalty to the companies that hire them, which ultimately leads to a more stable workforce for the employer. Since these programs are often upwards of four years long, an apprentice is much more likely to stay with your organization for a longer period of time.

Hiring an apprentice can also be a highly cost-effective recruitment strategy, as governments sometimes offer generous apprenticeship job creation tax credits to organizations that hire apprentices. These tax credits can be upwards of $2000 per apprentice per year, which is a significant tax savings.

How to Implement an Apprenticeship Program

Now that you know some of the benefits of implementing an apprenticeship program, it’s time to figure out how to get started implementing one for your business.

First, does your business have positions available that are eligible for registration as an apprenticeship? A few examples of trades positions that are acceptable include plumbers, electricians, hairstylists, automotive service technicians, and welders. There are countless other occupations that are eligible for apprenticeship programs that you may not be aware of, so it’s important to check with your local authority on apprenticeships for more information.

1. Identify Prospective Apprenticeship Opportunities Within Your Organization

The first step in implementing an apprenticeship program is identifying your hiring needs.

Confirm with your local apprenticeship authority that the position you seek to fill qualifies as an approved apprenticeship opportunity. Each state has a local authority that you can consult with.

2. Establish Apprenticeship Responsibilities and Compensation

Next, it’s key to outline a training plan for your apprentice. It should be in line with the learning objectives of the apprenticeship program.

You want to provide your apprentice opportunities to learn and contribute on as many projects as possible. This will ensure they are fulfilling the learning objectives required.
Also, it is crucial to ensure you are offering the appropriate amount of compensation for your industry and trade.

3. Hire Your Apprentice

Now it’s time to let prospective apprentices know you are ready to hire. Create a job posting outlining the details of your apprenticeship placement. Post it in locations where your posting will be visible to the right people.

field service technician
4. Know and Manage your Responsibilities as an Employer Sponsor

Finally, once you have selected, hired and onboarded your apprentice, be sure you are aware of your responsibilities as an apprenticeship host.

First, you must register your apprentice by completing and submitting an Apprentice and Sponsor Registration form. Upon receipt and processing of your application, you may receive a registration card for your apprentice.

It is also important to note that the apprentice must train under the supervision of a certified tradesperson. It is also the employer’s responsibility to track and report all work-based training hours related to the apprenticeship program.

Lastly, be sure to evaluate and recommend your apprentice for final certification once they have sufficient experience.

Overall, the process of implementing an apprenticeship program is fairly simple and offers countless benefits to both employers and apprentices. This win-win arrangement will enable your organization to attract and retain talent in a cost-effective manner. Meanwhile, you’re offering valuable career opportunities to individuals looking to develop a specific trade or skill.

Do you have a field service business? Want to know more about how to earn more growth and profits? Book a free, private demo of Vonigo’s field service software to learn more.