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The pros and cons of hiring an apprentice

Spike

Hiring an apprentice might be the last thing on your mind right now, but it could actually be in your best interest to get some new blood on board. If you’ve been tossing up whether to hire an apprentice or not, we’ve put together a great list of pros and cons to help you decide!

Pros

The fresh perspective
You know how sometimes you’ve been staring at the same damn problem for so long and you just can’t figure it out, then someone comes along and solves it in a second? That’s why it’s important to have fresh eyes and a different perspective. Yes, apprentices might not have much experience, but it means that they’ll also be looking at things in a way that will make you question why you never thought of that.

You’ll save some money
Obviously one of the bigger drawcards of hiring an apprentice is that you won’t have to pay them as much because the work is part of their training. During times like these when you’re trying to build your business back up, this can be extremely valuable, especially now that the Government has scrapped fees for all apprentices from the 1st July! They’ve put $320m into a fund for this, and it includes trades like construction, electrical engineering and road transport. So why wouldn’t you?!

They’ll happily do the grunt work
The tasks that might seem menial and bloody annoying to you will probably be fascinating in an apprentice’s eyes because they get to learn how it all works behind the scenes. If you know there are tasks that will bore or frustrate your more experienced team members, hand them over to the apprentice to complete – they’ll learn a lot, and your more senior team gets to prioritise the jobs that challenge and motivate them.

Cons

It does take commitment
Whilst you can pass on the more everyday tasks to your apprentice, you’ll also need to take the time to show them how to do it properly before they are confident enough to do it on their own. Apprentices are there to learn, so you can’t just throw them into it and not take the time to work with them and teach them what you know. For them to be an effective member of the team, you have to put the time in, just like you would with any other employee.

They could leave with their experience
Although theoretically your apprentice could have a lot of loyalty to you because you took them on, they don’t have any obligation to stay within your business once their training period is up – they could decide they want to try someplace new and take everything you’ve taught them with them. But this is why it’s so important to actually take the time and be the best mentor so that you can build up the relationship and hopefully the loyalty too!

There will be some muck ups
Because they’re just learning, apprentices won’t know everything right away, so inevitably there will be some mistakes that get made before things get done properly. This is where you’ll need to be prepared to take some knocks, but it will also give you an opportunity to teach them how to learn from their mistakes. That’s not to say you should give them hell if they muck up, but rather it gives you the chance to explain why things are done a certain way so they can learn effectively.

So what do you reckon?