Inspiring increased staff productivity is one of the biggest responsibilities facing employers as they adapt to the 'new norm' of running a business in the post-coronavirus era. Using Trade Supplier apprenticeships to upskill employee responsibilities and motivation is the ultimate alternative to traditional staff training for companies in a wide range of industries.

The government has already announced new incentives to recruit apprentices as part of its Plan for Jobs manifesto, providing employers up to £2,000 for each new apprentice that's hired during these turbulent times. It is a move that should instantly introduce SMEs to the appeal of apprenticeship schemes. In the current climate, though, they additionally deliver the perfect staff training protocol, particularly when looking at the trade Supplier programs.

Developing Skills For Immediate & Long-Term Rewards

For an employer, the first question ahead of introducing any new system has to be quite selfish: “what's in it for me?”. In the case of the Trade Supplier apprenticeships, the answer is “a lot”.

Trade Supplier apprenticeships set out to help new entrants and existing workers enhance their prospects with relevant upskilling protocols that are tailored specifically for the trade environment. In the Level 2 Trade Supplier Apprenticeships, for example, they will develop key skills in relation to customer profiling, stock control, personal responsibilities, health and safety, tech integrations, trade counter sales, and working within a team. This can subsequently lead to a Level 3 module that places extra emphasis on preparing for a career in team leadership.

The long-term incentives for an employer are instantly transparent: they will create a team of trade workers that are better equipped to deal with sales, client interactions, productivity, and compliance. Moreover, their heightened skill levels will transcend the warehouses and trade unit environments to support office workers and an array of departments due to increased collaborative efforts. Meanwhile, employees that subsequently pursue team leader positions and other senior roles will have an engrained understanding of the challenges facing junior colleagues within the company. 

However, it's the immediate rewards that truly make these unprecedented times the ideal moment to make apprenticeships the lynchpin of staff development. Studies have shown that over half of all workers are worried about the future of their jobs due to the impacts of COVID-19, and that was before the recession was officially declared. Investments into staff training via Trade Supplier apprenticeships display a clear commitment to their future, underlining your desire to provide stability while also promoting their long-term development. 

The Level 2 Trade Supplier course, for example, lasts for 12-15 months, which is long enough to keep workers engaged throughout a period where companies can expect to see a reduction in revenue due to the economic factors at play. With or without the financial incentives of government schemes, there is no doubt that apprenticeships can support businesses throughout this difficult time. 

Why Trade Supplier Apprenticeships?

Employers looking to incorporate apprenticeships for the first time will encounter an array of different options. For any business that operates a warehouse and trade counter, Trade Supplier Apprenticeships are a prime candidate due to the influence that these workspaces hold over the entire business venture. Incredibly, the Level 2 Trade Supplier program offers funding of up to £6,000 for Levy-paying companies.

Progression and end-point assessments, including professional observations and online examinations, validate that students have actually benefited from the new skill development and upskilling processes. This places them among the most rewarding apprenticeships on the market, not least because the trade environment is one that extends to companies across multiple business sectors while also touching B2B and B2C operations.

The core skills relate to trade specific challenges, such as those mentioned above, to improve communication and adapt to an increasingly tech-heavy work arena. It can additionally, where appropriate, support teams and companies hoping to adapt to the evolving landscape of the UK's international trade environment that follows Brexit. Employees are able to take on a more comprehensive and skilled list of responsibilities, thus making companies commercially flexible in this demanding time.

While many companies across multiple sectors will find that apprenticeships can be implemented in various settings, the Trade Supplier schemes are particularly well suited to the challenges facing most modern businesses as they look to survive the short-term difficulties while still working towards future progress and achievements. It helps employers develop stronger teams in an efficient manner while allowing employees to grow in an engaging and proven fashion. In turn, this can only improve client interactions too. Overall, those ingredients are a recipe for boosted bottom lines.

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