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Getting the most from trainees

Make sure that apprentices complete the training process and provide maximum benefit for your business

Taking on apprentices is an easy and cost-effective way to ensure that you retain a skilled workforce and have enough people to take on new projects. If you train them well, you’ll end up with a skilled and loyal addition to your team.

Whether you are thinking of taking on an apprentice or you have one already, you will need to get the best from them.

If you can find the right person for your business and explain clearly what will be expected of them, it will make all the difference. You can claim up to £9,820 in grants for taking on an apprentice through ConstructionSkills.

There are useful steps you can take to ensure you get the best arrangement.

1. Preparation

If you go through ConstructionSkills, you will be asked to undertake a two-hour work-based
course as part of the preparation. This helps employers to understand the apprenticeship
scheme, and will give you an insight into what young people need from you. Negotiate pay and terms and conditions upfront, including hours and how the apprentice will travel to and from sites.

2. Induction

Take your apprentice through a thorough induction in their first week. This helps to settle
new recruits into a firm and also helps to explain what is expected from them, in what is often their first professional job. Talk them through the company’s background and history,
walk them round the site and show them safety equipment.

3. Appraisal

Have a clear review system in place. Drop-out is most common during the first 10 weeks of
an apprenticeship, so holding a review after six weeks is crucial to identify problems early on. After the six-week review, ConstructionSkills will carry out further consultative meetings off site, but we recommend that employers also keep to a schedule of reviews and report any problems that arise to their apprenticeship officer.

Robert MacGregor is business support manager for ConstructionSkills. For more information, visit www.cskills.org/apprenticeships or call 0344 994 4422