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Training costs a challenge for SMEs who want apprentices

Although small organisations are able to reach the Government’s target of gaining three million new apprentices within the UK workforce by 2020, The Federation of Small Businesses recognises that they face major challenges, such as having to contribute towards training costs.

HR software can be an invaluable aid here, particularly one like Simply Personnel that has a module dedicated to managing training and the associated costs. Within this module, organisations can keep a record of how much each training course has cost and the results achieved to identify the best value for money option(s) to offer apprentices.

Also making training easier for HR is a tool that conducts a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) to identify which apprentices have which skills gaps, so that they can be trained in the relevant areas instead of attending all the same courses. Offering a wide range of courses can be time-consuming for HR staff who could spend hours organising each event, from booking the room to managing attendance. Storing a process and having a checklist can speed up the operation and minimise the likelihood of a step being missed.

If you are concerned about the need to treat all apprentices fairly then reporting upon the cost of training each staff member can allow you to ensure spend is equal across the board.

Employers who may be concerned about the ability for apprentices to retain a wealth of information over a short period of time may also benefit from scheduling in a follow-up exercise, to assess what has been learnt and whether additional training may be required. Course materials can also be stored securely within the software for ease-of-reference/refresher training or issued to any future apprentices.

In summary, small organisations should not be deterred from hiring apprentices due to the cost of training but use HR software to maximise ROI and reduce the time spent on running such events. To find out more about how Simply Personnel can help you to manage training, please call 0800 783 0322 or e-mail