Ever thought about having an apprentice but wondered what it would involve and how to go about it? Over the past two years AAS has been developing and piloting shared apprenticeships which overcome any concerns, helping makers to build their business capacity while giving young people meaningful on the job learning.
This new model enables more than one maker or creative organisation to share an apprentice and has been piloted across a range of creative organisations and sole trader businesses in a variety of urban and city locations in Scotland and in different disciplines. They are delivered with support from Skills Development Scotland, Creative & Cultural Skills as well as a range of local partners, craft development organisations and employers.
As a maker led organisation we understand the specific challenges makers face, and in this new approach we act as an ‘apprenticeship broker’. We become the apprentice’s employer, taking on the legal and HR responsibilities and helping you – the maker/employer – to gain understanding and confidence in these areas.
Practical support is provided throughout every stage of the process including development of a job description, recruitment and interview, liaising with training providers, providing in work pastoral care for the apprentice and guidance for the employer. Also, and most importantly, as makers we understand the IP concerns of sharing skills and trade secrets and can provide advice and access to specialist legal expertise.
So what are the benefits of a shared apprenticeship for a maker? It enables you to build capacity in a gradual and flexible way that suits your often seasonal working patterns with shared responsibilities for meeting the apprentices learning requirements and a gradual introduction to recruitment and employment.
Alongside these practical benefits, there is also the enjoyment and satisfaction of working with a young person and seeing their confidence build as they learn new skills and have new experiences in different creative businesses. This is particularly rewarding if it is a young person with disabilities such as dyslexia and dyspraxia which are very common in the creative sector.
We currently have two apprentices, Cara and Corrina, and three partners employers, Katie Lees Jewellery, Highland Print Studio and Wild Gorse. We are also delighted that Hannah has now moved on to being employed by two of our other partner employers, Carla Edwards Jewellery and Mairi Brown Textile Artist. We are about to add others, so if you might be interested in taking on an apprentice, perhaps on a shared basis, please get in touch now.