Youthforce encourages businesses to think of apprenticeships as succession planning for their future workforce, our values-driven sales approach is here to generate win-win solutions for opening up sustainability within a business. In our area of expertise, STEM apprenticeships, we are filling niche and life-changing roles, important technical and laboratory roles that may not be well known or understood but that are critical to our country’s infrastructure.

Large infrastructure projects, like HS2 for example, need material testing technicians in large numbers to ensure the success and safety of the project, but filling these roles can be challenging. Wage brackets can be low, the work can be seen as being repetitive and there is little understanding of the value and impact these roles make on our economy. Therefore, attracting and retaining candidates can be a challenge in this industry as with other science-based technician roles. With an apprentice – their wage expectations are lower, but in return, they receive on the job training that unlocks real career potential, and they are still able to complete the necessary tasks under supervision during the early stages of their apprenticeship. Companies can mould and develop the right candidate for long-term employment, from a 15-21 month apprenticeship to a valuable long-term member of staff.

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Employers may be looking for someone with more life experience.

Apprentices can be any age, it’s a misconception they are all young, and wages don’t have to be minimal just because it’s an apprenticeship. It’s about learning on the job; the role may come with responsibilities, and employers may be looking for someone with more life experience. Wages can vary from £10,000 – £18,000 per year for apprenticeships. What is vital is setting expectations for both parties.

When we work with an employer we set a benchmark of expectations for them and their apprenticeships so they have a realistic expectation of costs and results; what they will get from the learner, the journey that learner will take, and how this process folds back into the business to support its growth. Our business development team will hold discussions to challenge and debate with employers to create real training opportunities that supports a real training programme and helps to decrease the current skills gaps that we have currently in the STEM industry.

For smaller commercial companies in the STEM industry, they may be picking up projects and growing fast so they are taking on apprentices/learners as an affordable way to fill the skills gap, their focus is on the present need as much as the future.  We would support them with retention and long-term planning for those roles with effective mentorship so that the workforce they have developed doesn’t desert when their apprenticeships end.

For employers, our model means they don’t lose their staff to days at college

Youthforce specialises in STEM apprenticeships; because we are niche we do deliver our apprenticeships differently with 100% of the learning taking place on the employer’s site. The 20% of training is easily achievable throughout the week with our online learning platforms; live zoom sessions, training, theory assessments, Moodle quizzes, projects etc. The 20% may also include any relevant training delivered by employers, including workplace shadowing. Our model of self-paced, asynchronistic learning alongside live online sessions offers flexibility for learners and tutors and helps develop transferable life skills like time management.  For employers, our model means they don’t lose their staff to days at college or have to pay additional travel costs. It also means employers can be involved in the learning side of the apprenticeship’s journey with access to e-portfolios that in a traditional model they may not see for months.

Youthforce offers tailored learning for different industry segments such as materials testing, paints and coatings, Food & Feed, environmental and Biotech to name a few. Each segment and employer are consulted with to discover the specialist pathway of learning needed to provide the essential knowledge, skills and behaviours for each of our apprentices. Apprentices will be working to a core programme, enhanced by role dependent industry-endorsed modules; the Concrete Society endorses the concrete modules for example.

We are committed to developing a true partnership with employers and are proactive when it comes to improving our service and learning opportunities. Our account managers review and analyse how an apprenticeship is working for the client, or in the sector, and work with clients and our tutors to develop any additional material that might be missing.

Taking on Apprentices with a partner like Youthforce enables STEM employers to find and develop the talent needed not just to fill an immediate need but to ensure they have the resources needed to grow longer-term. Apprenticeships mean the next generation of employees are learning and capturing the skills of the retiring workforce and could be the foundation of a growth strategy that takes the pressure off future talent recruitment because you’ve literally grown your own from apprentices and have more rising through the ranks.

For more information on STEM apprenticeships with Youthforce call 01273 776 779  or email admin@youthforce.co.uk