The pros and cons of hiring a logistics industry apprentice

The pros and cons of hiring a logistics industry apprentice

logistics_industry_apprentice

As a transport or logistics manager, the idea of getting an apprentice to help out with your current workload has probably gone through your mind.

A recent report by professional services company PWC found that “additional staff and resources” would be the most helpful action a firm could do in the eyes of a logistics manager. Do you feel the same?

But with a cross-sector need to reduce costs, can your business really afford to spend more on recruitment? We take a look at the pros and cons of hiring a logistics industry apprentice…

The Pros

Help with administration tasks

Spending less time on admin tasks is surely a goal of every logistics manager?! Whilst tasks such as recording drivers’ hours is important, having an apprentice to take the majority of the workload could free up your time. This will get you back to being ‘proactive’ instead of ‘reactive’.

Sharing your knowledge

An apprentice gives you and your business the opportunity to spread your knowledge of the logistics industry allowing them to continue in your absence. Whether it is covering your holiday, or covering your position after leaving the business, an apprentice provides a smooth handover.

Cheaper recruiting cost

With a cheaper salary, no upfront recruitment costs, and potential grants to tap into, hiring an apprentice is a much cheaper

way of adding another body to your staff numbers. Hired for 1-4 years, apprentices usually work at least 30 hours per week on the minimum wage.

The Cons

Inexperience

Potentially their first job they’ve ever had, apprentices are very malleable in how you teach them to work, but the lack of experience working in the industry can lead to mistakes and gaps in their knowledge. Mistakes are easily overcome, but it is your training that will allow them to flourish.

A distraction to you

Training is just one part of your responsibilities when you take on an apprentice so be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time coaching them through the process. On top of a structured training programme, moral support will also be required in a new atmosphere.

Keeping apprentices happy

After considerable training and years of experience, giving your apprentice a job and a package to reflect their progress is vital to keeping their interest and maintaining the talent you’ve created. The last thing you want to do is train someone for 4 years, only for them to go to a competitor.

Is an apprentice for you?

Apprentices can make a real impact to your current position, and your business too, but it’s important to realise that apprentices aren’t a quick fix solution. They are a solution to the long term problems logistics managers’ face.

Photo Credit: BIS Gov via Flickr

 

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