Following the release of his review into apprenticeships for SMEs, Holts Academy founder Jason Holt published his own practical guide this week, named “Making apprenticeships work in SMEs”.The document contains advice for businesses on how to pick the right apprentice, preparing an apprenticeship programme and finding the right training provider. It also asks the question whether an apprenticeship is the right choice for your business and gives advice on cost and legal issues. The guide mainly draws on the experience Holts Academy has had with apprenticeships. The Academy pioneered the first government-approved apprenticeship scheme for the jewellery industry and has worked closely with SMEs in the trade. Holts supported many businesses through the process of finding, managing and developing apprentices – and of course employs apprentices itself. Holts said they hope the guide will help to encourage more SMEs to give apprenticeships a try and will provide the practical guidance they need to avoid some of the pitfalls. Jason Holt writes in the guide’s introduction: “Apprentices are a great source of creativity and fresh ideas. They are raw talent that can be moulded to fit the culture and ethos of a business. Perhaps best of all, much of their off-site training (for those who are eligible) is funded by the Government.” Apprenticeships are deemed by many the way out of the skills-gap, particularly so since this year’s GCSE results showed how little school leavers are prepared for the working world, lacking in practical experience. Pimlico Plumbers founder and Real Business columnist Charlie Mullins has continuously argued for apprenticeships to be raised in status and regain their position as a genuine career path equal to a university degree. The Holts guide is available for free and can be downloaded below.
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