Whether your business is small or large, the opportunity to embrace an apprentice into your team is readily available, yet rarely taken by small businesses. They are available to large and small firms, with the former (per a wage bill more than £3 million) being subject to a mandatory Apprenticeship Levy, and the latter being entitled to the co-invested scheme, and possibly additional funded support (employing fewer than 50 employees). From May 2017, companies not paying the Levy will pay 10% towards the cost of the co-investment scheme, and the Government pay the other 90%. You can search for the most relevant and beneficial courses and training providers by visiting find apprenticeship training. Once you are ready to move forward and recruit, you can post vacancies on recruit an apprentice for free. By doing this, the vacancy will also be advertised on other popular recruitment sites, enabling your post to reach even more potential candidates. As a Levy-paying business, you must register with the Apprenticeship Service to be able to access the funds and spend them on relevant training. Apprenticeships are an increasingly attractive option for businesses of all sizes wanting to bring new talent and ideas into their teams. Here are a few reasons why: 1. Increase the size of your team while keeping staff and recruitment costs down The average apprentice must be paid at least the minimum wage during training, but the salary will increase in conjunction with training progress and accreditation. This provides a low-cost option to grow your business team with staff developed and trained to best suit the company’s needs. 2. Develop new talent to meet your needs By recruiting from the apprentice pool, there are so many options in which to coach, develop and mould, to meet the needs of your business. Naturally, this is a balanced against a limited amount of experience in the work force. However, by focussing on the key needs of your business and teaching business processes from the start, it can lead to an apprentice’s own innovative ideas to surface in time. 3. Give your team new skills, energy and time Having an apprentice join your busy team can offer flexibility for existing employees and free-up time to focus on more involved and high-profile tasks with more responsibility. 4. Provide young people with a career opportunity An apprenticeship offers a young person the opportunity to start a career in a sector of their choosing, and to help a business to grow with skills needed for the future. Providing this nurturing opportunity can help increase employee loyalty, and hold on to highly skilled staff which you can continue to invest in and up-skill.