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Making apprenticeships work for your business

Published on 07/06/2023 by SGLAS


Apprenticeships are a great way to upskill your existing workforce or nurture new talent. But there are many misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships. At Blackpool and The Fylde College, we want to debunk those myths and help to equip your business with the skills you need to face the challenges of today and tomorrow.

With this in mind, we spoke to Sarah Hall, our Head of Business Development, to get some answers to the most frequently asked questions about apprenticeships and what they can do for your business.

With the cost of living crisis biting and talk of the UK going into another recession, how could a business possibly afford to hire an apprentice at the moment?

It doesn’t make financial sense not to. For businesses that don’t pay the Apprenticeship Levy (those with a payroll under £3million), the government contributes a minimum of 95% of the training costs, rising to 100% for 16 to 24 year olds. And, if you do pay the Apprenticeship Levy, not hiring apprentices or enrolling existing employees onto apprenticeships, is simply money down the drain.

A less direct financial benefit is the fact that apprenticeships help improve staff retention. You might be surprised to learn, for example, that the estimated cost of replacing an employee is between 6 and 9 months of their annual salary and that’s before you’ve even considered how much you’ll pay the person who replaces them. By raising the skills profile of individuals within your team, apprenticeships help existing employees feel valued which in turn makes them more likely to stay with you. And having this stability within your workforce not only has a direct impact on recruitment costs but also creates greater continuity within your organisation.

Although skills can be developed through ad hoc training, apprenticeship programmes are one of the best ways to properly equip your workforce in a structured way with the skills to face the challenges of today and tomorrow. And, whether they’re paid for either through the Apprenticeship Levy or not, they offer a cost-efficient way to plug the skills gaps in your business and raise the performance of your workforce.

What are the benefits of having an apprentice?

Whether it’s shaping new talent or nurturing it in your existing employees, running apprenticeship programmes have a number of benefits for both your business and workforce. They are a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Apprenticeships also allow you to future proof your business to some extent. Progress within the sector, advances in technologies, materials or processes, updated regulations and changes to consumer behaviour, can all be addressed through an apprenticeship programme. And, whilst that can’t protect your business from every eventuality, they can ensure you are well-prepared to meet any challenges head on.

How can B&FC help businesses with apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are designed to keep your company cutting-edge, with training that evolves alongside the needs of industries. At Blackpool and The Fylde College, apprentices receive high-quality teaching from industry experts who keep their knowledge and skills updated to align with industry standards. Whether an apprenticeship, professional course or a bespoke course designed to meet your business needs exactly, we have the right course to help you retrain and retain your workforce.

Who can you enrol onto an apprenticeship programme?

No longer just the preserve of new starters or school leavers, apprenticeships can be started at any age over 16 and are open to existing employees as well as new recruits.

Blackpool and The Fylde College has a wealth of experience delivering technical and professional education to support apprenticeship programmes. If you would like to find out more about the courses we offer and how we can help you, please visit our website at or contact our friendly and professional team on 01253 504343.

Apprenticeships at a glance

  • 95% contribution from the government for your apprenticeship training if you are under the Ley threshold, rising to 100% for 16-24 year olds.
  • No upper age limit for starting an apprenticeship
  • A great way to boost retention, personal investment which makes employees feel valued
  • Apprenticeships are mapped to internal progression boosting job satisfaction
  • Blackpool and The Fylde College have been delivering technical and professional education since 1892
  • We partner with over 1,800 employers to offer apprenticeships which upskill your workforce and prepare them to face business challenges