No Image Available

Michael Taite

Blue Moon Creative

Managing Director

Read more from Michael Taite

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Five top tips for SMEs hiring apprentices


As the eighth National Apprenticeship Week takes place, Michael Taite gives his top tips for SMEs who may be considering hiring apprentices.

The eighth National Apprenticeship Week takes place this week. From 9-13 March, up and down the country, businesses, schools, colleges and training organisations will be organising events and activities to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

Hiring apprentices makes a huge difference to the way you run your company. I would encourage any SME to consider taking on apprentices. Here are five top tips for those who are thinking about taking the next step.

Make apprentices a key part of your growth strategy

Adopt a 'grow your own' approach to the company by taking on apprentices. To be taken seriously by bigger clients and grow, you will need to increase the strength of your team. Make apprentices and former apprentices the growing heart of your business.

Hire apprentices with different skillsets and enthusiasms

By the time your apprentices have completed their apprenticeships, their skills and your new business efforts will both have advanced to the point where you could hopefully afford to retain them and hire more.

Apply for an AGE 16-24 grant

The government grant, which has been extended until December 2015, helps businesses with the costs of taking on an apprentice aged 16-24. I would definitely recommend that other small businesses investigate if they are eligible for AGE 16-24.

The grant is available to businesses with under 50 staff, who are new to apprenticeships or haven’t enrolled a new recruit or existing employee onto an apprenticeship programme in the previous 12 months. Employers can receive up to five grants in total to cover the cost of starting a new apprentice aged 16 – 24; with each one worth £1,500, which goes a long way towards helping with the cost of hiring apprentices.

Be prepared for apprentices to shake up your business

Being an apprentice employer changes your company’s positioning in the marketplace - hiring apprentices makes a big impression on clients, making the company stand out as ‘growing’, ‘energetic’ and ‘on-the-ball’.

Hiring apprentices also changes you internally as a company. It can prompt, for example, reviews in your approach towards new software, CSR and even your future. Apprentices can also open up new markets for the company – having young creatives gives you far greater credibility in youth-oriented markets.

A small team is a great environment for apprentices

When my business came under new ownership in April 2012, we were a small team of two owner-directors and one employee. A small team means that apprentices can become an integral part of a business within days of starting – they hit the ground running, and in my case, helped us begin to grow the business straight away.

There has never been a better time to employ an apprentice. To find out how to get involved in National Apprenticeship Week visit Here you can find events happening in your area as well as some key facts about apprenticeships and a quiz to test your knowledge. Or for more guidance on taking on apprentice and the funding available go to call 08000 150 600.

Michael Taite is managing director of Blue Moon Creative in Pershore, Worcestershire

No Image Available
Michael Taite

Managing Director

Read more from Michael Taite

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!