Lord Sugar’s got a lot to answer for.
Millions of our youngsters are growing up with their formative impression of the grownup world of work being a place where a grizzly boss in a big black executive chair growls “you’re fired!” once a week.
The apprentice is normally thrown into a bewildering array of impossible tasks designed to trip them up. There’s no learning from mistakes – it’s sink or swim.
Thankfully, the real life of the apprentice bears little resemblance to the terror of Sugar’s boardroom.
And rather than giving their bosses the lined forehead of his Lordship, most apprentices free up time for their manager to focus on growing the business.
“We hired our first apprentice two and a half years ago and we heartily recommend it,” said Lesley Lindsay-Watson Director of Biketart in Canterbury. “Our apprentice is a huge asset to our company, having grown with it. We’ve just taken on a new young person and look forward to seeing him flourish and develop his skills in the same way.”
Lesley is one of several business leaders who will be sharing experiences with other small business owners at events on Jan. 30 and Feb. 20.
With the number of small business soaring to a record high, it’s SMEs that are now leading the way in getting apprentices back into the workforce.
“Our members tell us that they plan to grow and take on more staff this year so we are pleased to be offering information on hiring an apprentice at two events,” said David Milham from the Federation of Small Businesses for Kent and Medway. “As a business owner myself, I know it can be expensive and time consuming finding the right member of staff.”
MP Julian Brazier is supporting the events organized by the FSB and National Apprenticeship Service.
“Apprenticeships can provide a fantastic opportunity for young people to get on in life, gain meaningful skills and employment, and can raise the productivity of the businesses they join,” said Julian.
“In Canterbury, we have had 1,070 new apprenticeships start since 2012, many of whom have joined small businesses. We must however keep up this momentum. Our target is to have 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 and end youth unemployment. The Federation of Small Businesses events really help us push towards that figure.”
The events run from noon til 2pm on Jan. 30th at Bike Tart, Unit 14, Barham Business Park, Canterbury CT4 6LN, and on Feb. 20th at Medway Innovation Centre, Maidstone Road, Rochester ME5 9FD
To book go to www.fsb.org.uk/kentandmedway or call 01622 688 134.