Micro, Small Or Medium Business Wanting To Recruit New Employees

You’ve been thinking about developing and/or growing your workforce. You’ve read the ‘benefits and opportunities’ that investing in skills development and training can bring to your organisation. You’ve reflected on the ‘questions to consider’, reviewed your business plan if you have one, and maybe done some workforce planning. You’ve explored your options, and you are considering taking on new employees.


An apprenticeship could be the solution to recruiting new employees. It’s a great way to bring in someone new who will come with a passion to learn everything about your business, your brand and your vision. You can recruit an apprentice of any age, but it is a great way to bring young people into your business and nurture new talent.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship in the UK is a paid job with a contract of employment, where the employee learns and gains valuable experience while working.

Apprenticeships are suitable for people at any age and any level so you can hire someone new or upskill an existing employee. This will allow you to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. You’re training someone in the skills you need and that are relevant to your workplace, and showing a commitment to ongoing learning and development.

Use this guide to find out more about apprenticeships and the benefits to your business.

What do you need to do to recruit an apprentice?

There are several steps you need to take. You can find those and our top tips here.

Other Training

If apprenticeships are not the right recruitment solution for your business at this time, you may still need to train any newly recruited staff. For example, you might need to carry out an induction into the organisation and the role, or any industry required training.

Finding the right course and training provider

You may already be working with a training provider. If you are happy with their services, see if they offer the course/s you are looking for. If they don’t, they may be able to suggest other providers who do.

If not, you probably know other businesses in the same sector as you or in the same area. Why not ask them for any recommendations?

You can also search online using a search engine. Depending on the type of course you are looking for, that could result in hundreds of results, or just a couple. Shop for training in the same way as you would anything on the internet. Some things to consider:

  • does the training need to be in person, or could it be online?
  • can your employees travel if it’s in person?
  • do you want or need to buy local?
  • what’s your budget?
  • do some due diligence. Check out Trust Pilot or Google reviews of the business.
  • shop around. Speak to a few providers. Get a sense of what they’re offering and if their offer works for you.

Sussex Council of Training Providers (SCTP) is the training provider network for Sussex with over 90 members, including Independent Training Providers, Further Education colleges and universities. If you would like to be introduced to training providers who can deliver the training you are looking for, please email us on info@sctp.org.uk.

Here are national sources of free accredited e-learning courses:

Paying for skills training

Some training providers are fully commercial, and you will need to pay for the training courses that they offer. Some providers receive government funding and courses may be free or partially funded. Some providers may be a hybrid of both. We recommend you speak to the provider to find out if there is any funding towards the cost of the course.

Finding new recruits who have already had some local skills training

You may wish to recruit local people who have already had some training in things like maths and English, employability skills or a particular technical skill. This is a great starting point so that you can then invest in further training once they’ve settled in.

Local colleges and independent training providers

One way to do this is to build a relationship with your local colleges, independent training providers and other local organisations delivering skills training. Get in touch with them. They love meeting local employers. That way you can get involved in helping to shape the courses they are delivering, and you can establish a pathway for young people and adults from their courses into your company. You can find many of them here as they are members of SCTP.


T-Levels are a new qualification in England for students aged 16-19 once they’ve finished their GCSEs. They are a technical qualification, providing an alternative to A Levels and apprenticeships. Where A levels are completely classroom based and apprenticeships are largely industry based, T-Levels are a mix of both, with a substantial industry placement (around 45 days).

By getting involved and offering industry placements for students in your sector, you get a chance to develop new talent in your sector and to get young people work ready – something that we know is always a challenge for employers.

Find out more about T-Levels and industry placements, where you’ll also be able to find your local provider.

Skills bootcamps

Skills bootcamps are free courses of up to 16 weeks for adults aged 19 and over. They give people the opportunity to learn sector-specific skills based on local employer demand and provide a direct path to a job on completion. They are co-designed with employers to respond to their skills shortages.

Skills bootcamps deliver training at levels 3-5 (medium to higher level technical skills) and occasionally at level 2 where it is more appropriate for the sector.

This training is for adults who are either in work, self-employed, unemployed, or returning to work after a break.

You can recruit employees directly from a skills bootcamp at no cost to your company.

To find out more and to contact providers, visit this link.

Sector-based work academy programme (SWAP)

Sector-based work academies help prepare those receiving unemployment benefits to apply for jobs. SWAP is administered by Jobcentre Plus and available in England and Scotland.

A sector-based work academy can last up to six weeks. Placements have three main components:

  • pre-employment training – matched to the needs of your business sector
  • work experience placement – a great opportunity for your business to identify talent and for the individual to cement their knowledge and understanding of the required role. Placements are designed to help meet your immediate and future recruitment needs as well as to recruit a workforce with the right skills to sustain and grow your business
  • a guaranteed job interview or help with an employer’s recruitment process.

To find out more and how to get involved, visit this link.

Now that you have looked at the different options available, had back over to the Transform Skills Toolkit home page to find out about useful support agencies and websites that can help your business.

Choose the tile below that best describes your business.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic tool for bringing in new talent into our business. We have been lucky to get a good quantity of applicants for all our apprentice positions and have therefore been in a privileged position to onboard some real talent. The apprenticeship model is beneficial because it includes off the job formal education and training, but also allows us to be very focussed on internal training for our ‘real world’ work.”