National Apprenticeship Week – how is your business attracting the next generation?

National Apprenticeship Week
National Apprenticeship Week

This week is National Apprenticeship Week, and it’s great to see more focus on apprenticeship schemes for young people in the UK. In 2014/15, there were 499,900 apprenticeship starts in England, 59,500 (14%) more than the previous year, so we are going in the right direction. Apprenticeship schemes allow people to develop skills that have a positive impact on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

New research shows that the right people and skills are 10 times more important to expansion than access to finance, and apprentice employers are five times more likely to rapidly expand their business. As more businesses see the value of apprenticeship schemes, business owners will want to attract the best.

Digital demands

So how can the online presence of a business entice people to work for it?

Essentially, a company’s website acts as a job advertising board. An unappealing website with a poor user interface can say a lot about a business. For a younger, tech-savvy generations, it can imply that the company isn’t up to their digital demands.

It can give the impression that technology and being at the cutting edge may not be a main goal for the business. For young people constantly looking for the latest gadget, tool or platform, it can mean that their priorities with the business may not be aligned. They’ll probably move on to the next website, and by the same token, the next apprenticeship opportunity.

Keep it clean

Within a 20th of a second we make up our minds about the quality of a website. What makes a quality website? Web users often talk of a ‘clean’ feel – one that isn’t chaotic or busy, but is simple in design and navigation.

Each web page should have one focus. Advertising an apprenticeship opportunity? Create a page dedicated to it, with a clear call to action. Link to it from your homepage so it has full visibility to visitors and you’ll see an increased interest in the vacancy.


But how do young people find your website in the first place? While millennials spend less time researching employers before deciding whether to apply – 12.4 hours compared to 25.9 hours for the older generations in today’s workplace – they’re more likely to use social media in the job search.

Regularly updated social media channels indicate a company puts time and effort in understanding its online community. Social media is also a great way for businesses to show off about their workplace. It can act as a mouthpiece to tell people how good your work culture is, so don’t be afraid to be less formal about your business.

Mobile recruitment

We’re now doing almost everything on our phones. You’re probably reading this on your smartphone. When it comes to work, 73% of job searches are now carried out on a mobile device. There’s nothing worse than a website that doesn’t transfer to mobile. Trying to swipe through a clunky site is very frustrating, and can have a hugely negative impact on how someone feels about a business.

Ensuring your website is designed for an excellent viewing experience is essential, so the responsive design and mobile-friendly design are trends that are here to stay. Google’s recent emphasis on the importance of mobile-friendly website design for higher search rankings drives home this point.

National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week is a time for business owners to think about what it is they’re doing to attract people to work for them. Improve your online presence and you could see a sharp rise in the number of people wanting to work for your business.