At Westcon-Comstor, apprenticeships are a core part of our hiring strategy. The tech industry is going through one of the largest talent shortages it’s ever seen. Apprenticeships offer a win-win for both of us. The apprentice gets to take a step into the tech industry and gain hands-on experience, and we get to build a bespoke, specialised workforce where we need them the most. As National Apprenticeship Week 2024 approaches, we’ve explored what’s in it for the apprentice and the business.
The top five benefits of apprenticeships for businesses
- Tailored talent development
- Increased productivity and efficiency
- Enhanced employee retention
- Innovation and adaptability
- Positive Impact on Corporate Social Responsibility
Apprenticeships let businesses cultivate a pipeline of talent specifically tailored to their industry. Nurturing talent from within, businesses ensure a steady supply of skilled workers equipped to excel in their roles.
Apprentices work alongside experienced professionals, gaining insights that can’t be replicated in a classroom. This hands-on approach accelerates the learning process and enhances productivity and efficiency.
Investing in apprenticeships sends a powerful message to employees: the company is committed to professional development and growth. Apprenticeships can help attract top talent eager to join a company prioritising learning and advancement opportunities.
Apprenticeships give businesses fresh perspectives and ideas, as apprentices bring new skills and insights to the table and prevent staleness from setting in.
Beyond the bottom line, apprenticeship programs have a positive impact on corporate social responsibility. We pride ourselves on our culture and being a responsible business. We’ve worked hard to encourage diversity and inclusion among our team and incorporate this thinking into our company values. We reflect this in our hiring policies, particularly with our apprenticeship scheme and early career programmes where we work to give equal opportunity to as many young women from various economic, educational, and racial backgrounds as possible.
We also have a number of internal programmes to encourage diversity and inclusion, including our ONE Westcon initiative, which aims to embed principles of diversity and inclusion at all levels of our business. We’ve also launched ERGs (Employee Resource Groups), which help raise awareness and support for areas relating to race, heritage, gender and gender identity, sexuality, and disability.
The top five benefits of apprenticeships for apprentices
- Hands-on learning
- Mentorship and guidance
- Earn while you learn
- Career advancement opportunities
- Industry-relevant skills and qualifications
One of the most significant advantages of apprenticeships is the hands-on learning experience they provide. Apprenticeships immerse individuals in real-world work environments, allowing them to apply their skills and knowledge in practice.
Apprentices work alongside seasoned experts who serve as mentors, offering support, advice, and feedback as they navigate their career paths. This mentorship accelerates learning and instils confidence. By learning from those who have walked the same path, apprentices gain insights and perspectives that can’t be found in textbooks.
Apprenticeships offer the best of both worlds, earning while learning. By earning while they learn, apprentices support themselves and still focus on their education.
When finishing their apprenticeship program, apprentices emerge with a nationally recognised qualification and a solid foundation of skills and experience. This credential not only opens doors to entry-level positions but also paves the way for future career growth and advancement.
At Westcon-Comstor our apprentices complete various pieces of coursework giving them the theory behind what they do day-to-day, helping them build capabilities and immediately put them to use. The end goal of our programme is permanent employment for our apprentices.
Apprenticeships offer individuals the chance to acquire sought-after skills and qualifications, making them highly marketable to prospective employers. By gaining industry-relevant skills and qualifications, apprentices enhance their employability and position themselves for long-term success in their chosen careers.
The benefits of apprenticeships for both individuals and organisations are varied and vast. By seizing the opportunities offered by apprenticeship programs, individuals embark on a rewarding journey of learning, growth, and achievement. For organisations, apprenticeships enhance their talent pool, drive innovation, and strengthen their competitive advantage.
At Westcon-Comstor, our programme has gone from strength to strength since we launched it. We’ve placed talented candidates into our organisation and given them the best start to their careers. This success has not gone unnoticed in the industry. Our programme has been recognised as ‘Best Apprenticeship Scheme’ by CRN three times since we started. Our commitment to our communities, developing the next generation of talent, and filling the skills gap remains a top priority for us during National Apprenticeship Week 2024 and in future.