Apprenticeships are just one tool companies can use to drive retention rates and should be supported by focusing on improving employee experience. Listen to employees, collect insights, action improvements, and most of all develop a sense of community within the business.
Here are four areas to focus on when supporting a training scheme to improve retention rates.
Having a clear onboarding process is hugely important in helping retention rates. The onboarding process should instil the company’s culture, explain roles and responsibilities, and clearly demonstrate avenues for career development.
The best examples are clients with senior management that take an active role in inductions. Having the CEO meet a cohort of apprentices is a good way of creating an open and engaging atmosphere. A robust, structured onboarding process is particularly important with retention rates in the first six months.
Creating cohorts of apprentices is a good way of creating a sense of shared experience and community within the business. Workshops, visits to food providers, and CEO meetups are all good examples of cohort activity, though this may only be applicable to businesses that have a large pool of apprentices.
Notable examples include a client who has 3 or 4 days of workshops across the year for apprentices. The client mixes different levels of apprentices in the workshops to create a real community feeling, and shows entry-level apprentices there is clear progression.
This approach is certainly encouraged by the off-the-job training element of apprenticeship standards.
An important aspect is the candidate screening process. We screen both external applications and internal nominations against the eligibility criteria agreed by our clients. But the key for any screening process is to make sure candidates are not just eligible, but suitable for the role too.
Understanding if a candidate will enjoy the role and know responsibilities helps with retention rates further down the line.
A mentoring scheme is an important addition, especially with young or inexperienced team members. Having an outlet for professional support can help build confidence in an inexperienced team member.
At Lifetime, there’s a huge focus on making an apprenticeship a supportive and structured experience. Learners have access to a 24/7 support network, dedicated Learner Support Team, and access to a range of online life skills resources.