Growing talent through apprenticeships

20 Jul 2022 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 5 Feb 2024

This blog from Richard Kirk, CEO of Workplus gives an overview of how apprenticeships can work for you in your organisation, and the benefits in terms of retention and performance.


“It’s hard to find good people… and then keep them!” Sound familiar?

It’s a phrase I hear more and more, and perhaps that phrase resonates with you and your organisation too.

I started Workplus to change and grow the culture of apprenticeships in Northern Ireland; to create more opportunities for people to earn and learn, to be plugged into mentoring and have a job from the outset.

The change aspect was also important. Many people (and organisations) still view apprenticeships through very traditional lenses of being confined to trades, and employers are surprised when I tell them there are over 150 apprenticeship pathways, from business admin, finance, sales and marketing to software development and engineering.

The good news is that more employers are thinking again about their recruitment strategy and are now growing their talent through apprenticeships – ‘growing their own’ so to speak – and seeing the benefits in terms of performance and retention.

I came across some interesting research by Young Social Innovators that is good news for the community and voluntary sector. When young people were asked what they felt was a sign of a successful life, their top answer was ‘Making a difference to your community/world’. 

‘Making a difference’scoring top above financial security and home ownership! It’s heartening to know that this is how the next generation are thinking.

Please do get in touch if you’d like to know more. Contact us through our Workplus website or via Sandra Bailie at NICVA. The Workplus You Tube channel features testimonials from employers and apprentices who are experiencing the many benefits of apprenticeships.   





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by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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