Planning For A Swarm Enterprise Apprentice
We get asked a lot about what you should do to plan for taking on a Swarm Enterprise apprentice as it’s certainly no ordinary apprenticeship. I will try and make it simple and outline a few tips that you should bear in mind before you recruit and help make your Swarm apprentice bring in the positive returns you need from an innovative enterprising employee.
Swarm focuses on growing your future managers and leaders which is why a lot of our employers we work with offer roles that are more empowered and significantly higher in level of accountability than most others. This means with the right training and support a young person can provide a lasting potential impact but this does mean however, that Swam has to work with you to find that 1 in 100 who is capable of doing just that.
Let’s be clear, a Swarm apprenticeship position is no different than any other job role on the open market that has a degree of measurable impact and empowerment but you have to bear a few things in mind first with potential apprentices.
Do not plan your Apprenticeship position around attracting maximum funding
yes, some age groups of apprentices attract more funding than others but it's swings and roundabouts. The younger the person the more funding you get but what you gain in funding you will spend in extra time and support if the role is empowered. We find many 16 – 18 year olds may not necessarily have the level of maturity and life/work experience to draw on to quickly embrace the accountability in the time needed for your particular role.
Anyone can be an apprentice
it’s not just young people. Swarm apprenticeship positions are not just for school leavers. We attract a wide range of applicants for your role from 16-30+ years old. From GCSE/A level leavers to post graduates. Remember that the more specific the skills and experience you require, the longer it may take to fill.
Don’t make the job role too basic
Remember this is a Swarm apprenticeship; not an entry level apprenticeship. Together we will be teaching the individual to go the extra mile in whatever they do and measure their impact and demonstrate a Return On Investment. Apprentices can deliver amazing things with the right mindset. Don’t be afraid to let them spread their creative wings.
Understand what a good return on investment looks like
keep it simple and focus on the deliverable outcomes such as sales targets, KPIs or time/cost savings. The apprentice will want to measure their impact so it’s easier if you know what they should be measuring and working towards. Their Enterprise project can make a big difference to this.
Don’t pay the minimum
Competition for that 1 in 100 potential superstar is high and if you want someone who will really deliver impact, then do not pay the apprentice minimum wage. We recommend at least the national minimum wage for their age.
Build in potential pay rises or bonuses
targets to achieve will inspire and drive a typical Enterprise apprentice. Tie them to measures the apprentice can work towards as they deliver increasing levels of impact.
The apprentice will need dedicated support
ideally this can be from someone who can teach them what a good job looks like on-site. Even with Swarm's extensive mentoring and training, we are not there every day.
Allow them some time to get to know the wider workings of the organisation
the Swarm Enterprise course teaches them all aspects of being innovative in business and to really get the best from them, let them see how everything connects.
Remember, Millennials (Gen Y) are motivated by purpose
it’s been recently found that the millennial generation (born between 1980-2000s) are motivated by innovation, versatility and flexibility in the workplace, and are digitally aware. More importantly they want to work for a purpose that’s more than just money. Give them a purpose and the ability to work towards flexibility if they can prove impact.
Allow them time to study and learn (this is important)
we will be teaching them things on our training days that they won’t have ever known or grasped and most don’t naturally get to experience it every day in their roles. They have to learn and apply the knowledge to really be effective.
Taking on an enterprise apprentice can be a very rewarding experience and with the right training, mentor and support they can make a big contribution to the growth and future of your organisation.
Chris Perry,CEO of Swarm