Advice On How To Support An Apprentice In The Workplace

Feb. 1, 2022, 1:01 p.m.
When a new member of staff starts working within your company, it’s important to understand the pressure and nerves they may be feeling before settling in. As an Employer, or fellow employee, it should feel like your duty to ensure their smooth transition into the workplace by making them feel welcome. We’ve all had a first day starting somewhere, and the feeling of being the ‘newbie’ can be quite overwhelming, especially for apprentices who are likely to have little experience in the work environment. Below our team have shared 5 things you can do to support your new apprentice, to make them feel like part of the team.

1. Have everything prepared for their first day

In preparation for your new apprentice's arrival, it’s a good idea to plan their first few days and weeks in advance so they can establish a routine. Doing this should also eliminate any stresses you have, and it will make their transition into the company a lot smoother. A few things you can plan for your apprentice to do could include: Introducing them to their team, Reminding them of the company values and culture, showing them around their workspace, Introducing them to the outline of their programme and training.

2. Show them around, and introduce them to the rest of the team

Meeting new people can often be the most daunting element of starting a new job. To help your new recruit settle in, you could take them around the workplace and introduce them to the members of staff throughout the company. This will also help them feel confident if needing to communicate with other teams in their role. It is also essential that you give the apprentice a tour of the workplace, to show them any fire or escape exits, and make them aware of any procedures if an emergency does occur.

3. Assign a workplace mentor / buddy

Although this may not be necessary in all workplaces, it’s a good idea to pair your new apprentice up with someone who they can become familiar with. Ideally, this would be someone who is a member of their team, or someone they will be working with quite closely. In larger scale companies, having over 100+ people to get to know can be extremely overwhelming, and it helps if they have a buddy or someone they can count on if they need support.

The idea of a mentor is also a great idea if you’re looking for someone to take the lead with your new recruits development within the company. Of course, your apprentice will also have an Assessor who tracks their progress, but your apprentice’s Assessor won’t be present in person throughout the working day. It’s a good plan to pair your apprentice with a mentor who is of a similar age or level, who has worked within the company for a while, and who is a good example of what is expected from your employees. Ideally, you want your new apprentice to follow in the path of their mentor, and be lead by their standards and behaviours.

4. Celebrate success, and give praise where necessary

Giving positive feedback, and praise, can be a huge boost for your apprentice’s confidence levels. Being new to the company, and in a new job, they’re going to feel the pressure to impress and they’re going to want to work hard to prove that hiring them was a good decision. Keep in mind that completing the smallest of tasks may be quite hard for them if they’re unfamiliar with the usual routine, software or procedures that are in place. Giving them regular praise and recognising the things they’ve done well will also keep them motivated and wanting to work hard.

5. Provide constructive feedback and set new goals

Once your apprentice has settled into their role, you may want to assign them some new challenges to assess their ability and keep them on track with development. Following these challenges, you may want to provide them with constructive feedback so they can improve for next time. It’s important to remember not to be too harsh, and keep these comments on a positive note so they recognise that you’re still impressed with the hard work they’ve been putting in. A good way to do this would be to assign a task, and then directly after the task you can ask them how they thought they got on. This is a great opportunity to then provide your feedback, and if you are mentioning something they can improve on, you need to be sure to support them and provide the correct resources for them to achieve.

If you’re looking for further advice on how to support a new apprentice during their transition into your workplace, please contact our team via our Contact Page.