Could apprenticeships be the answer to your prayers?

Emily, with Award sponsor Gary Neild – 2017.


Emily is now a professional and dedicated freelance PA, with vast experience from a career in Human Resources.

In 2017, whilst employed with Atlas Elektronik, Emily was recognised by the Dorset Chamber Business Awards for her company’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships’ – a programme Emily single-handedly designed and managed in her role as Senior Learning and Development Officer. With full support from senior management, Emily developed a fresh talent pool for the company with some incredibly valuable results for all involved.

In this blog, Emily shares her insight and experience, bringing to light a real potential for YOUR business.

Calling all small businesses… have you realised that apprentices are for YOU?

Written by Emily Fuller, The Passionate PA for Weymouth and West Dorset

Throughout my extensive career in HR, I have developed a passion for people and employed many apprentices. Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, I truly believe that it is small businesses that stand to gain the most from employing apprentices. With all the challenges small businesses face, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed and frustrated right now. But, there is a largely untapped resource available that you could benefit from.

In a nutshell, here are the facts:

  • As a small business, employing less than 50 people, the government will pay 100% of the costs of the apprentice training, up to the funding band maximum. This in fact means that you could utilise up to £27,000 worth of training for a member of your team for free!
  • If you hire an apprentice before the 31st January 2021 you can claim an additional incentive payment of up to £2000 if they are aged 16-24, and up to £1,500 of they are aged 25+, with an extra £1000 available if you employ a 16 – 18 year old or someone with additional needs. These payments apply even if you employ an apprentice that has been made redundant from another company due to the Coronavirus, so they would be joining you already with skills you can use.
  • Apprentice salary expectations are lower than those of people coming into your business that still may require training to get them up to speed. It is well known that you can pay apprentices a very low wage, but this really should be reviewed against the job they are doing, not just regarded as ‘cheap labour’.
  • You will develop skilled, home-grown employees that know your business from the ground up.
  • The training that your apprentice does is adapted to suit your company.
  • You will gain fresh, new approaches and opinions, especially if you recruit from the technology savvy ‘generation Z’.
  • You can use the recruitment of an apprentice to upskill other members of your team by completing knowledge transfers based on the training they are receiving, introduce reverse mentoring, as well as use the opportunity to allow someone with management potential to take the lead on managing the apprentice.
  • You will experience increased productivity from the addition of the apprentice, as 78% of employers asked by the government reported improved productivity after recruiting an apprentice.

In my experience, all apprentices that I have employed have benefited the organisation and all recruiting line managers have requested more apprentices to join their teams year on year. 90% of the apprentices that I have hired have secured full-time permanent jobs with the companies and the other 10% have benefited from identifying their next career step externally from the company which they completed their apprenticeship with.

The belief that it is the duty of big companies to employ apprentices because they have the capacity to do so, is out of date. Apprentices really do add value and the list of additional benefits outlined above highlights only a small number of reasons why small businesses really should be looking to employ apprentices to fill their skills gaps and build a resilient workforce for the future of their company.

If you’d like an exploratory conversation about whether apprentices could be right for you and your business, book a free 121 with me by emailing

You can find out more about Emily by clicking here!

Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

Our 7 Point Plan helping clients through crisis

Coronavirus has affected every business in our country. There’s no sugar-coating it, for some it has been utterly dire and for some it has been an unprecedented opportunity.

Here at The Passionate PA, we work with entrepreneurs; fast-paced, growing businesses that are always looking ahead. Our experience has been that Covid-19 literally stopped most of them in their tracks… at the very least for a few days whilst they got over the shock, worked out how to get a workforce to be productive from home and managed the risks associated with the pandemic.  

But now, for most of our clients, it’s business as un-usual.

Working so closely with these business leaders, we see their challenges and feel their pain. The benefit of knowing their businesses so well, is that it gives us a unique and valuable perspective, and a beautiful opportunity to really show how much we care and help them survive the crisis.

In the early weeks of the pandemic, each of our team worked really closely with their clients to ensure they not only survived this crisis, but planned to come out stronger and more focused than ever before.

The Passionate PA Team – Self-employed freelance PAs working with business leaders.

In this blog, our franchisor, Kate Chastey (centre), shares our 7 Point Plan for helping clients through this crisis.


We help each of our clients perform a SWOT analysis of their business. Done formally, or informally, we make sure we are helping our clients see their strengths at this time, and the weaknesses that need to be addressed. 

We’re also helping our clients understand the business threats from this situation – it has to be said, its mostly cashflow no matter what size the business is! And, of course, the opportunities – within every crisis there are opportunities, sometimes it’s just hard to see them when the panic sets in. We help our clients step back and evaluate. 


Once a SWOT is done, we help our clients prepare a structured plan to ensure they (and the whole business) can cope with the levels of change required. We help our clients focus on the desired outcomes and prepare accordingly.

Innovation & Diversification

No matter what the business or what the challenge, there is always innovation to be introduced somewhere. We help our clients release their shackles and see opportunities for innovation and diversification whether it be in service or product offerings, routes to market, target audiences or even marketing messages.


We are masters of efficiency; from managing productivity, motivation and communication to streamlining business processes and customer service. We happily share our knowledge and experience to increase efficiency for the greater good of the business and its people.  


We aren’t just thinkers and planners – oh no! A huge part of the partnerships we have with our clients is rolling up our sleeves and getting stuck in. We help our clients prioritise and action, and we take responsibility where needed to relieve our clients of workload. 


The key to all success is consistency and so our clients rely on us to provide a level of service that never falters. With one eye on today’s ‘To Dos’ and one on the path ahead, we help our clients consistently perform their roles and responsibilities, ensuring their business survives today and can thrive as we all move forward. 


It makes the world go around. Simple. 

In our relationships, there is always time for kindness, compassion and understanding. Overwhelm happens to us all, no matter how senior or how experienced. It happens at different times and with different triggers and one of the best parts about being an entrepreneur’s Passionate PA is the trust and loyalty we share. 

Our clients can always rely on us to be the listening ear, the kick up the butt or the provider of gin… whichever is the most appropriate at any one time 😉

We are Passionate PAs – with our clients every step of the way. 

If you are looking for a fresh perspective to get you and your business through this really difficult time, please contact Kate on 03 3000 20 200.

Further blogs from The Passionate PA: