How to help apprentices thrive in hybrid working

Apr 27, 2022 | Development

Many organisations have adopted hybrid working this year, Springpod explains how to help apprentices and junior staff get the most out of the environment.

It’s no longer a surprise to see most businesses adopting a hybrid approach to the work environment, with the option allowing staff to decide how often and when to go into the office.

To help employers understand how to best utilise and develop young talent in hybrid working, Springpod (the careers platform where young people can learn about the world of work before they apply) spoke to current apprentices as well as employers during the ISE Student Development Conference 2022.

We aimed to discover more about their experiences and how they believe the working world needs to adapt to suit the needs of those starting out in their career.

Making it work for everyone

We asked Sarah Wilder, Partner at MPM Legal Solutions Limited, what she believes is the right approach to hybrid working: “Permitting more flexible forms of working opens up a potentially global talent pool for employers. However, it’s important for employers who move to hybrid or remote working to think carefully about how to make it work well for everyone.”

The social mobility aspect of hybrid working is a fantastic move forward; it enables those who may be more disadvantaged to access opportunities, for example, those who cannot afford to live in larger cities can still gain experience within larger city firms.

Many companies are committed to employing a certain number of staff members from lower socioeconomic backgrounds – recently, the BBC said that one-quarter of its staff were to be from lower-class backgrounds by 2027.

With cold spots in the UK a continuing issue, the ability to work remotely may be a positive move to helping those in these areas find work.

Virtual guidance and training

One way in which hybrid working works well is through enabling employees to meet across many areas of the business, regardless of location.

Junior staff can virtually chat with a more senior member of the team with the click of a button, allowing them ample opportunity to learn from their peers without the time and travel constraints.

Dan Eames, Digital Marketing Apprentice at Springpod said: “Employers can make the most out of apprentices by keeping them engaged, especially when working hybrid. This can be done by allowing them to lead on projects and take responsibility, which can help integrate the apprentice into the team.”

Building a sense of community

It’s important to remember that with hybrid working, building a sense of community is vital to ensure apprentices feel welcome in the company and engage with a broad range of employees – not just those they closely work with.

To do this, you could set up virtual meetings with the whole company or create ‘watercooler’ style slack channels, where teams can chat as though in person. At Springpod, the team have multiple channels for non-work related chat, from #pets to #bookclub.

Showcase the virtual benefits

The office has many benefits, and so does virtual – such as no commute, which gives apprentices the opportunity to retain a happy work-life balance and gain time back to spend doing other things.

Whilst there are certain roles that cannot be replicated virtually, many businesses – especially since the pandemic – have raised the popularity of hybrid working processes.

Dan added: “I really favour a hybrid environment, but for an apprentice, the skills you can learn in an office by shadowing or having coffee catch-ups cannot be replicated virtually. However, virtual working allows for a greater work-life balance, as less time is spent travelling.”

To hear more from our apprentice panel and understand how they believe employers can enforce a positive hybrid experience watch the ISE Student Development Conference 2022

Read more insight and advice on developing apprentices and graduates

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