Recruiting and retaining talent
When speaking with Members and industry stakeholders, one clear challenge faced is around attracting young talent to the industry, training them and importantly retaining that resource. People are the lifeblood of every organisation and ensuring that you have the right people in place throughout all roles, plays a vital role in how efficient and successful your business is in the long term.
In relation to operational risk there is also a link between a high turnover of personnel and frequency of safety incidents. For the management team, keeping up with constantly having train and retrain an ever changing workforce can be extremely challenging and a great burden when additionally striving to improve safety levels within the organisation.
Here, Woodland Group, based in the UK, explains how apprenticeships can be the key to tackling this challenge.
It surprises me every day that more companies are not taking advantage of apprenticeship training here in the UK. Apprenticeships are a great way to invest in new talent entering the industry, whilst also supporting the ongoing development of your current workforce.
There is help and support out there for any business looking to take the plunge into their first apprenticeship. Regardless of team size or global spread, there is absolutely potential for any UK-based business to reap the benefits of the apprenticeship scheme. Whilst larger businesses will probably pay into the apprenticeship levy, smaller businesses can access Government funding which covers up to 95% of the cost of apprenticeship training.
When it comes to salaries, the national minimum wage for an apprentice is very low, so I would always recommend companies pay their apprentices competitively, but this can still be below the minimum wage threshold for an adult aged 22 and over. Bear in mind though, that using apprenticeship training to upskill your current workforce, does not mean you can reduce their salary or alter their terms of employment.
When it comes to salaries, the national minimum wage for an apprentice is very low, so I would always recommend companies pay their apprentices competitively
The Institute of Apprenticeships is a great place to find what training is available. There are hundreds of courses, with options specifically designed for our industry as well as more general courses like business administration and customer service.
Through the Institute of apprenticeships, you can find local and national training providers. These providers have qualified Skills Coaches who work with the apprentice throughout their learning to ensure they are ready for their end point assessment. Those coaches are often veterans of the industry they are training in, with years of knowledge specific to the business area. In addition, some of these providers will also offer employers free recruitment services.
Apprentices will learn through a number of different formats, with a requirement to spend 20% of their time ‘Off the Job’. This means the equivalent of one day per week, must be used for studying. The 20% time is flexible depending on the needs of the business and the amount of learning the apprentice has that week. Off the job time can take many forms, including but not limited to: written coursework, tests, eLearning, remote or classroom training, reading, videos, coaching, shadowing their colleagues, and practising the new skills they have learnt.
Here at Woodland, having a group wide focus on succession planning has positively impacted managers engagement in apprenticeships. Leaders see the benefit of recruiting at the entry level, investing in the apprentice and as they develop and progress their career, they move up through promotion. Then, new apprentices join the team at the entry level again. Another benefit of this, is that we have a readily available list of mentors for new apprentices joining the business, as recent graduates’ step in to give new recruits a guiding hand through their apprenticeship studies.
We have a readily available list of mentors for new apprentices joining the business, as recent graduates’ step in to give new recruits a guiding hand
Through company-wide promotions and direct recruitment interventions, we have encouraged leaders across the group to recruit apprentices or use apprenticeships to upskill their current team, meaning a 600% increase in learners on programme since 2019. Members of the Woodland team who have advanced their career have completed apprenticeships in Sales, HR, Leadership and even MBAs. Meanwhile, entry level apprentices are working and learning across numerous areas including freight forwarding, warehousing, IT, business administration, customer service, HR, logistics, and sustainability.
When it comes to apprenticeships, Woodland Group has one main focus, retention. To date, 100% of apprentices who successfully completed their apprenticeship have remained with Woodland in a full-time position post learning.
To date, 100% of apprentices who successfully completed their apprenticeship have remained with Woodland in a full-time position post learning.