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5 golden rules to get the very best apprentices in construction businesses

A training expert believes construction businesses need to pick apprentices very carefully and give them long-term mentoring to get the most out of them.

Those tips are among 5 golden rules identified by expert Andy Percival from training company Pivotal Performance.

He has listed the rules to help companies get more from their apprentices and ultimately boost profitability.

"Handled correctly, apprentices are a low cost and effective way to fill your business with loyal workers," Andy said.

"A well chosen apprentice can go on to play a major part in a business, thoroughly learning how the company operates at every level.

"It’s not unheard of for apprentices to rise to the very top in a business. That’s why it’s so important to get the right people in at the bottom.

"Managers can follow these five golden rules to ultimately make more money for their businesses."

Andy’s five golden rules for taking on apprentices are:

1. Know exactly what you want: There’s no point taking on apprentices just to bolster your workforce. You must look ahead and identify future skill gaps in the business. Today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s skilled workers.

2. Offer the most appealing apprenticeship scheme you can: Offer the best scheme and you’ll get the best people. Offer a little extra cash than other schemes and make sure you pack the learning into their apprenticeship with a structured training programme. Ongoing mentoring will be a big selling point for apprentices.

3. Spread the message far and wide: Think about where your target audience can be found and advertise your apprenticeship there. Remember local colleges and schools, and tell your current apprentices about the new vacancies. They may have friends looking for work.

4. Be very selective about the people you take on: Interview them thoroughly and take up references. Consider a day long interview in the workplace; it’s one of the quickest ways to find out who will fit or not.

5. Mentor apprentices: If you take a young person on and expect them to learn all the skills they need from a local college course and observing in the workplace, you’d be mistaken. You should mentor them throughout their apprenticeship to ensure they develop the skills that will best benefit the business. Managers should be trained to be able to mentor properly.

Andy runs Pivotal Performance’s City & Guilds 7303 Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector – perfect for busy managers

Pivotal Performance trains this course commercially throughout the UK and worldwide.

It packs the learning into a one off course. Unlike an NVQ, there is no portfolio to produce or additional work to be undertaken at the workplace – which is very popular with busy supervisors.

The course is very hands on, with a huge amount of personal attention from the trainer to help delegates to achieve the standards they need to pass.

Pivotal Performance is one of the UK’s leading training companies, specialising in environmental and health & safety training.

It has a unique way of training people called PPTplus, which teaches delegates how to win commitment from others, not just compliance.

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