According to the Institute of Student Employers (ISE), more than a quarter of businesses (27%) plan to reduce the number of graduates they recruit this year and 23% will cut apprenticeship and school leaver programmes.
Covid-19 has also impacted internships and placements, which will be reduced by 31%, with more than two thirds (68%) cancelling work experience and other taster opportunities.
With around a third of the businesses replying to ISE’s survey saying they were simply uncertain about their hiring plans, on a positive note a third of businesses were continuing with their recruitment plans, moving their interviews and assessments online.
The situation business owners find themselves in with covid-19 is not for the faint hearted. Do you err on the side of caution, slow down or stop the hiring of apprentices until you know more about how your business with weather the storm or do you carry on as normal with your apprentice strategy for the year and carry on with the original apprentice recruitment plan?
In my experience of running apprentice programmes, one of the key factors to a successful programme is consistency with the apprentice intakes, Missing a year may seem like the only thing to do at for that year, but the knock on effects to the business can have a huge impact in the long term, especially when using the apprenticeship programme to ‘grow your own talent’ to help fill the national skills shortages within your industry. Now is a good time to remind yourself on why the company has an apprenticeship programme in place, and to explore and understand what effect to the business there will be if an apprentice intake is not recruited in 2020.
One thing I have done in the past is to reduce the intake number to ensure the talent pipeline is still resourced rather than skip a whole intake, this is where the company’s succession plan springs into action, in identifying available experience and capabilities in the talent pipeline of the business and taking into account national skill shortages and hard to recruit for role, as well as potential retirees in the coming years.
Whilst these are uncertain times for businesses, I urge you to keep on planning ahead for when this period passes, and it will.
“Always plan ahead, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark” quote from Richard Cushing, America prelate of the Roman Catholic Church
S Potter Talent Ltd is an award-winning consultancy offering bespoke apprenticeship scheme management, human resources and learning & development strategies for business.
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