Companies are increasingly turning to apprenticeships as a solution in response to a severe shortage of skilled labour in the frontline or blue-collar workforce in various industries such as manufacturing, electronics, finance, retail, e-commerce, and FMCG.
The shortage has prompted organisations to hire individuals with basic educational qualifications (class X/XII) and then provide them with specific skill training to make them ready for the job market; a recent study reveals an unprecedented demand for apprentices.
Apprenticeship Bridging The Gap Of Skilled Workforce
The outlook for apprenticeships in the second half of the fiscal year has reached a record high, with 75% of organisations planning to onboard apprentices, compared to 41% in the same period in the previous year.
A significant majority (70%) of employers engaged apprentices in the first half of the financial year; the study, based on data from 700 companies, indicates that 47% of firms aim to have 10% of their total workforce as apprentices in the next six months, while 31% currently maintain an apprenticeship share of 5-10%.
Sumit Kumar, Chief Business Officer of TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, notes a remarkable growth in companies’ intent to engage apprentices over the past three years. The second half of the fiscal year is expected to witness the highest-ever engagement of youngsters as apprentices across sectors such as automobile, electrical, retail, and NBFC.
The demand for apprentices extends beyond class X/XII degree holders, with a rising interest in graduate apprenticeships, particularly in roles like electrical and electronics engineer, mechanical engineer, and automobile engineer and, notably, companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Motherson Sumi, Minda, Lumax, and ITC are actively investing in apprenticeship programs.
Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, annually recruits over 3,000 fresh apprentices from ITIs and pays them a stipend of around ₹18,300 per month. To further contribute to skill building, the company has implemented an ‘Earn while you Learn’ model through a flexi MoU with the government, allowing around 2,300 students to undergo vocational training at its factories, receiving a stipend of ₹15,200 per month.
Rahul Bharti, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at Maruti Suzuki, emphasises the importance of large corporates participating in skill building to meet the growing demand for skilled workers.
The company focuses on creating a supply of quality manpower through partnerships with ITIs and operates the Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM) to train youngsters, providing them with opportunities to join the company. The company has already set up three JIMs in Gujarat and Haryana and plans to open one more to further the concept.
The Power of Apprenticeships in Building Stronger Businesses
The need for a skilled workforce has never been more critical – from entry-level positions to managerial roles, companies are increasingly recognising the value of apprenticeships as a strategic investment.
These programs offer a multitude of benefits, ranging from heightened employee satisfaction to enhanced retention rates, making them a proven avenue for individual career development and business success.
Recent research underlines the extensive advantages of apprenticeships for both businesses and employees. A staggering 98% of organisations currently employing apprentices report additional benefits, addressing issues like the widening digital skills gap aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to data from GOV.UK, 86% of employers acknowledge that apprenticeship programs have allowed them to cultivate skills tailored to their organisational needs.
The impact of apprenticeships extends beyond the completion of the program, benefiting companies in the long run. On the other hand, apprentices emerge as seasoned professionals equipped with a diverse set of technical and interpersonal skills.
Hence, understanding the profound advantages of apprenticeships has become crucial for any organisation seeking to thrive in the competitive business domain.
How Apprenticeships Transform Businesses
Apprenticeships serve as a robust strategy for businesses to secure skilled workers for the future, ensuring a workforce equipped with the necessary skills for long-term success.
The growth and prosperity of any business hinge on its workforce, and providing the right people with the right skills can effectively future-proof the organisation. Here are some key ways in which apprenticeships positively impact businesses:
1. Tailored On-the-Job Training – Apprenticeships enable employees to apply their skills and knowledge from the very beginning, contributing to the company’s success from day one.
2. Diverse Talent Development – Since Apprenticeships are open to individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and career levels, apprenticeships facilitate the development of a diversified talent pool within the organisation.
3. Highly Skilled Staff – Apprentices evolve into highly skilled professionals, bringing lasting value to the business as the skills acquired during apprenticeships resonate throughout their careers.
4. Cost-Efficient Talent Identification – Leveraging apprenticeship programs, especially utilising low-cost resources, is essential in overcoming skills shortages. This approach offers a cost-efficient means of identifying and retaining entry-level talent while fostering a more diverse workforce.
Benefits of Apprenticeships for Employers
As businesses grapple with a widespread skills shortage, apprenticeship programs are emerging as a practical solution to acquire relevant skills across various levels. The advantages of implementing apprenticeship programs are numerous, addressing critical challenges faced by employers –
1. Save on Recruitment Costs – Apprenticeships offer a cost-effective way to develop new and in-demand skills within the business, with government grants further reducing program costs.
2. Diversification Across Teams: Apprenticeships provide a powerful tool to diversify the workforce, attracting individuals from various backgrounds and career stages.
3. Increased Retention Rates and Staff Satisfaction: Apprentices tend to stay committed to businesses longer, leading to improved staff retention and reduced recruitment costs in the long term.
4. Improved Talent Acquisition: A strategic approach to talent acquisition through apprenticeships allows businesses to attract fresh talent, fostering growth and development.
5. Address the Skills Shortage: Apprenticeship training serves as a solution to the skills shortage and building future specialists from the ground up.
6. Introduce Industry-Leading Skills: Apprenticeship programs align with industry standards, ensuring that businesses stay abreast of best practices, ultimately benefiting both apprentices and existing employees.
The Last Bit, Apprenticeships are not just a training program but an investment in the future of businesses and individuals.
In the quest for sustained success, businesses are now recognising the profound impact of apprenticeships as these programs not only equip employees with tailored skills but also contribute to long-term organisational prosperity.
From cost-effective talent acquisition to fostering diversity and addressing critical skills shortages, apprenticeships are emerging as a transformative force. The time is ripe for companies across sectors to embrace apprenticeships, unlocking a skilled, diverse, and loyal workforce that will shape a prosperous future for both individuals and businesses.