Apprenticeships have long been a powerful catalyst for economic and social change, helping improve the life chances of often vulnerable youngsters and those with little in the terms of career prospects. By giving people a chance, responsibility, freedom and some money in their pocket, apprenticeships can be an invaluable way to improve mental health and wellbeing.
Mental health amongst the workforce is a leading concern for employers. Research shows that millennials display the highest levels of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts of any generation and that one in three employees take time out due to mental health.
With reduced absent days, increased productivity and a happier, more loyal workforce, it is within every employer’s interest to improve the health and wellbeing of staff. According to the mental health charity Mind, “56% of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing.”
Improving confidence and self-esteem through apprenticeships
Studies show that apprenticeships can have a positive effect on confidence and self-esteem. The World Class Apprenticeships: Unlocking Talent, Building Skills for All project, which analysed how specific focus groups perceived apprenticeships, found that young people and their parents were positive about participating in work-based learning and real-life experiences outside of the classroom.
Youngsters were also positive about the ‘soft skill’ improvements apprenticeships create, such as time management and presentation skills. Other benefits of apprenticeships identified by the study were how learning on the job type training improves young people’s confidence, increases their employability, whilst enabling them to earn a salary as they learn.
Apprenticeships bring people career prospects
A lack of motivation, self-esteem, confidence and responsibility, can have a detrimental effect on helping people find long-term employment. By being part of a team, learning a trade and different skills on the job, while training for a qualification and earning an income, can go a long way in boosting self-esteem, confidence and making people significantly more employable.
Working alongside others as part of a team helps apprentices learn about effective communication skills, which is often a barrier for those with low levels of confidence and self-esteem. They also learn about the importance of teamwork, which is a vital trait when joining any organisation.
By training on the job, apprenticeships train individuals in specific skills and work experience, making them more likely to be successful in recruitment processes. Simply knowing they are sufficiently trained and have specific skill sets can be a powerful confidence and self-esteem booster.
The social values of apprenticeships
As the Social Market Foundation notes:
“Apprenticeships have the potential to provide opportunities for gaining training whilst working, thereby improving career opportunities and helping to fill skills gaps across a range of sectors.”
As well as playing a pivotal role in the economy, apprenticeships deliver real social value to those involved, helping to tackle confidence issues, while making individuals more employable by learning practical skills. For employers, this cost-effective form of employment can be vital in helping bridge skill gaps and benefit from a content, productive and loyal set of employees.
About the Author
This blog post was written by Hadyn Luke, Director of CMS Vocational Training (CMSVOC). CMSVOC offers a wide range of commercial and government-funded apprenticeship options.