Is this the perfect time to take on an apprentice?

apprenticeship funding nz

If your small business is doing well, but income is intermittent, the biggest challenge can be figuring out how to grow without committing to more full-time team members. An apprentice can be a fantastic way to manage your costs, have a certain amount of flexibility, and get an extra pair of hands to help with your work.

Free fees and plenty of jobseekers

Apprenticeships are currently fees-free until December 2022, and there are 200,000 Kiwis on the unemployment benefit. As a result, there should be some quality candidates looking for a new career and high-energy school-leavers hoping to find secure employment.

For small Kiwi businesses, an apprentice may be a way to help you focus on the more demanding parts of your job, while training your apprentice in the basics. As your apprentice becomes more skilled, they can take on more work. Some organisations will even pre-screen apprentices and supply gear for them – find out what’s available in your industry.

Can you afford an apprentice?

How much impact would an apprentice have on your business? We can help you answer those questions. You’ll need to use cashflow forecasting to estimate:

  • How much money you’re likely to make without the apprentice
  • What an apprentice would cost in terms of wages
  • The cost of equipment or systems you’d need to support the apprentice
  • How much time would be lost training the apprentice
  • How much extra money you could make with an apprentice

After factoring in all those numbers and considerations, you should have a clear answer on whether an apprentice will help you grow your small business.

Your responsibilities when you employ an apprentice

It’s vital to understand what you’re signing up for when you employ an apprentice. The Code of Practice for Apprenticeships outlines your responsibilities, which include:

  • Being informed about what it means to support your apprentices throughout their training.
  • Being a good employer by complying with all the legislation supporting the safety, privacy and human rights of your employers.
  • Provide active and effective training and mentoring.
  • Support your apprentice’s access to off-the-job training.
  • Support your industry organisation’s access to the apprentice.
  • Communicating clearly with the apprentice and the industry organisation.

If you do a good job for your apprentice and they work hard, you could be training up a new staff member who knows exactly how your business operates, as well as providing someone with a great job for the future.