One of Youthforce’s driving philosophies is that everything we do should be driven by a win-win solution as the outcome. This means we look for solutions that create value for all involved. We strive to find ways to improve our offer to benefit employers and apprentices in this specialised market.

The co-development of apprenticeship programmes are always approached as a win-win solution with both the employers’ needs and the apprentices’ skills requirements in mind. A well-placed apprentice will benefit from work and training while the employer benefits from their labour and increasing skill sets. The biggest challenge employers face with STEM apprenticeships is knowing what programme is a true fit for the role and being directed to the correct standard. It is important that companies are clear about what an apprenticeship entails so they can manage all stakeholders expectations. We know that entry technicians’ roles have often been misunderstood and undervalued sometimes due to a lack of understanding, so an important part of our role is to ensure, between us, we get the right programme and everything is crystal clear in the initial phases of meetings. We call this period ‘discovery’ and firmly believe the initial time investment this takes will pay off dividends in the long term.

Youthforce is instrumental in helping manage employer and candidates’ expectations. We help employers create clear learning and development pathways for their apprentices and communicate this effectively. It means candidates understand exactly what they will be doing and what is expected of them so can make an informed decision as to whether that role is for them or not. Another win-win.

Apprenticeships have not always been viewed in such a positive light or received the financial incentives and support available today. It all changed in 2017 when the government committed to boosting productivity by investing in human capital. The key to this strategy involved a push to close important skills shortages by increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships. Employers were placed firmly at the centre of the newly reformed system following a recognition that they are the drivers of such a system. Through the apprenticeship levy employers who are committed to training will be able to get back more than they put in by training enough apprentices. Smaller companies also get up to 95% of their training costs subsidised to develop their present and future workforce. It is another win-win for British industry, jobs and funding/subsidies for training. For large STEM companies, working with a specialist STEM apprenticeship provider like Youthforce will enable that volume of apprentices needed to fill the skills gap and make the most of the levy – a sustainable talent acquisition strategy to find and develop the right skills sets.

There is currently a shortage of technicians in STEM and apprentices is one of the best ways to fill this gap. They are competent individuals looking to earn while they learn and employers looking to recruit and mould a future workforce.

Getting it right and making it a win-win is about recruiting the right candidates, which is where Youthforce can help. With knowledge of this niche market and the learning platforms to offer sector-specific modules, we give STEM employers the best chances of a long-term win-win recruitment strategy.