Why Cadventure chose to adopt Apprenticeships within our business?
Adopting apprentices as a recruitment approach is often seen as a challenge and too onerous for small businesses. However, for Cadventure this has brought us several benefits and competitive advantages. Here are some compelling reasons why we choose to take this approach:
Cost-Effective Workforce Development: Prior to trying on the apprenticeship scheme, we had successfully hired Graduates via Pareto for our business development team. When we saw the opportunity to also enrol them into the Sales Level 4 Apprenticeships programme as part of this proven recruitment model, this provided a cost-effective way to build a skilled workforce.
Our initial hurdle involved convincing ourselves that dedicating 20% of a new hires’ first year to learning would yield positive results. Additionally, we had to assess the management time required for onboarding and supporting this inexperienced talent.
Nevertheless, our experience has shown that they rapidly acquire skills, display a strong eagerness to contribute, and promptly apply their newfound expertise. Moreover, they value the fact that, in a small business like Cadventure, they are engaged in the entire sales cycle from inquiry to closure starting on day one. We can precisely gauge how this has facilitated Cadventure’s growth while efficiently managing our costs and investing in training and skill development.
Tailored Training: The Sales Level 4 Apprenticeship programme is exactly aligned to our business development process and has allowed us to tailor training programmes to meet our specific needs. By training our talent in-house we have ensured that our apprentices receive training that aligns with the company’s goals, industry standards, and our unique requirements.
Fresh Talent Pipeline: Hiring apprentices has supported our team’s career development plans by building a pipeline of fresh talent at each stage of their journey. Some of our first apprentices have graduated with distinction and are now developing their sales careers in Cadventure as Sales Managers and future leaders in our business. They are also excellent role models and mentors for their colleagues still on that journey.
Each member of the team works towards career development goals using the apprenticeship process to learn where their strengths line and where they want to specialise and develop. Each team member after a certain stage is appointed an external mentor to help them understand their potential and work on their career goals.
Over time as they have gained skills and experience, they become increasingly valuable assets to the company and are retained as long-term employees after completing their apprenticeship.
Loyalty and Retention: Our Apprentices demonstrate a strong sense of community and loyalty. They appreciate that we took a chance on them and that we have invested in their training. This has led to higher employee retention rates. To date we have 25% of our company recruited as apprentices and a 100% retention record. What that also means for us is that we have a fantastic team with diverse and have reduced the need for frequent recruitment and onboarding.
Adaptable Workforce: Hiring apprentices has allowed us to build and adapt to fluctuating workloads and changing demands. This means we have been able to take on new product lines, expand internationally with the recent formation of Cadventure International and consistently outperform our previous year’s results.
We believe that our current cohort of Apprentices can be trained to adapt to various roles within the company. With this opportunity for them to progress within Cadventure is making our workforce more flexible and responsive to market changes and the needs of our business.
Transfer of Knowledge: Apprenticeships facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise from our experienced employees to the next generation of workers. This helps preserve valuable institutional knowledge within Cadventure. We also learn from them with fresh ideas and approaches to how we do business.
Reduced Hiring Risks: The current job market is highly competitive and compared with large PLCs, we have limited resources for recruitment. By partnering with an organisation like Pareto who understand our culture and by offering apprenticeships we believe we are a more attractive employer and have had greater success. Our existing apprentices and those who have graduated the programme are our best advocates when it comes to interviewing new candidates.
Cadventure can demonstrate how we hone the skills of the apprentices to meet our specific needs, reducing the risks associated with external hires who may have different skills, experiences, and expectations.
Some employers might take on half a dozen candidates at a time in the expectation that only one or two will make the grade. That has not been our experience so far. By hiring one at a time into a small team allows them to be inducted into the Cadventure “family” and thrive.
Government Incentives: Governments incentives and financial support to cover most of the cost of a defined package of structured training have been an advantage to us as they further increase our return on investment for these team members.
Diverse Perspectives: Apprentices bring fresh ideas and diverse perspectives to Cadventure, enhancing creativity and innovation within our workplace.
Community Engagement: We are proud of our apprentices and apprentice graduates. Hiring apprentices is something that we can talk about very positively to enhance our image amongst our clients, partners, and suppliers. In the wake of Covid this is also way in which as a small business we can invest in workforce development and redress the balance of some of the hardships that the pandemic created.
In summary, adopting apprentices as a recruitment approach has been a strategic decision. It has helped us to build a skilled, loyal, and adaptable workforce while controlling costs. Strong sales leadership and a nurturing culture have empowered our apprentices to quickly find their feet and feel valued as they can contribute and be successful.
We are delighted to be able to invest in the development of our future employees, meet our specific skill requirements, and take advantage of government incentives, ultimately contributing to the long-term success of organisation.
If you are looking for some advice about whether to consider hiring apprentices, just do it! You won’t look back.