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Support the transition of your female apprentices into permanent employment. Once trained, the apprentice is a valuable investment for your organisation. Good communication, creative job design and an understanding of roles and opportunities will ensure that apprentices progress into permanent employment in suitable roles that will offer long term benefits to the employee and the organisation.

Training an apprentice is a considerable investment for an employer and most apprentices go on to permanent employment on completion of their training. It is important for them to know you will be offering them a job so they are not tempted to look elsewhere. Female apprentices are in great demand.

  • Ensure that you regularly review progress with your apprentices.
  • Set in place interventions and support to ensure achievement and progression as necessary.
Engineering is the most successful sector for employers retaining their apprentices after they finish their apprenticeships. On average 81% were still employing their apprentices 12-18 months after they’d successfully completed their apprenticeship. (The average across all sectors is 75%). However, research by the Young Women’s Trust found that women were more than twice as likely as men to be unemployed at the end of their apprenticeship.

As part of your regular reviews and assessments:

  • Include dialogue about the ‘next steps’.
  • Include your intentions regarding permanent employment – be clear what you can offer and how likely this will be.
  • Consider a variety of options if you feel that the apprentice may not want that particular role.
  • Pro-actively work with your suppliers and partners who offer apprenticeships to develop opportunities to make use of female apprentices who may not be offered a permanent role by you, or who may be suitable for your organisation if others do not have opportunities for them.

In the unlikely event that you are unable to offer your apprentice permanent employment because a position is not available, ensure the investment you have made in training them is not wasted.

  • Communicate that you will not be offering permanent employment as early as possible to the apprentice and their training provider.
  • Use your networks to encourage them and give them confidence that employment is available and achievable.
  • Provide support to help them find and apply for alternative employment.
  • Training providers and colleges can support learners by sharing their employer network details of companies in the appropriate sectors, so that learners can send CV’s to them.
  • Colleges can signpost their employer networks to a ‘Talent Pool’ of learners who have progressed well,
  • Encourage employer contacts who may need trained staff in the future to interview learners whilst they are still on their apprenticeship programme, with a view to offering them a job at the end. This can be especially useful for SME’s who are looking for fully trained staff.

If you are unable to offer your apprentice permanent employment because they have not ‘made the grade’:

  • Support them to look at alternative ways to make the grade. To complete an apprenticeship the learner needs to have been assessed for competency. Training providers could offer them work experience in their STEM departments during the summer break to allow for this. For example, a Laboratory Technician apprenticeship learner might support the work in the college labs.
  • Help them to consider what skills they have achieved and what their employment potential is.
  • Within your own company or through your networks identify alternative roles that will make use of their skills and value your investment in them.

Girls and young women are more likely to apply for, and stay in a job role, if they perceive it as a good fit with the way they identify themselves, it meets their career aspirations and it offers an open door to future opportunities.

Take the time to talk to your female apprentices and applicants about the type of role they are best suited for and to ensure they feel the role is a good fit.

  • You may find that the WISE People Like Me quiz can support your conversation with the female apprentice, and other female applicants, and assist them to make the links between their personality and skills and the role on offer.
  • Consider their aspirations, interests and what they would like from their career and acknowledge where these fit within the career opportunity you are offering. It may be helpful to complete a career plan. (EXAMPLES LINK?)
  • Discuss progression opportunities and show that this pathway will ‘open doors’ to a wide range of future opportunities for them.
  • Provide a mentor to discuss their career with.

Understanding career paths and opportunities within the business is important in ensuring apprentices and female employees are encouraged to join you full time and stay with you for the foreseeable future.

Girls, in particular, will benefit from discussing their careers with women at various levels within the business, helping to create a welcoming environment for the next stage of their progression.

  • Encourage your female apprentices and employees to speak with other individuals (male and female) in the business who have progressed via similar routes i.e. the apprenticeship pathway, as well as female employees who are at the next stage in their career.
  • Encourage and support your female apprentices and employees to join networks for women in similar fields and sectors, both within the company and externally. For example - WISE, local colleges and universities networks, Stemettes etc.
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