Monthly Archives: July 2015

A small business guide to employing an apprentice

Apprenticeships: Good for business?

The business world is changing at a rapid rate. The competition to secure full-time, long-term, decently paid employment is harder than ever. The costs of full-time further education have sky-rocketed too. A typical student on a three-year uni course OUTSIDE London is expected to graduate with around £35,000 – £40,000 of student loan debts. And then there’s the black cloud of trying to find a job at the end of it.

The fact is, it’s a skills market out there with prospective employers increasingly wanting you to actually have them; often times a lot more than the piece of paper that proves you didn’t spend your entire uni career drinking bad wine in the student union. That’s where apprenticeships come in.

At WBC, our journey into employing our first apprentice as part of the government apprentice scheme started last year with Leanne McCloud. We quickly learned that not only is an apprenticeship a real job with real training, allowing you to earn while you learn and get recognised qualifications at the end of it, we also saw first-hand the benefits it can bring to small businesses too.

Read our question and answer with Leanne, to see just what it’s like to be an apprentice in one of today’s small businesses.

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Is it time to make ‘mise en place’ the order of your day?

Because my background is in bakeries and kitchens, the term “mise en place” is one that is near and dear to my heart. Literally translated, mise en place means “putting in place” or “everything in its place” and while the origins of the words stem from the culinary world – a chef ensuring everything’s to hand before he begins; collating ingredients; positioning equipment tidily in order and in reach – the sentiment behind the phrase is applicable for every industry and business and you certainly can make it part of yours.

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While it never rains, it pours!

A woman holds an umbrella while waiting to board a train during a heavy rain shower at a railway station in Kolkata September 20, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Our visit to Kolkata back in May this year was full of hope and excitement about the future of our India project; to create employment and training opportunities for disadvantaged members of the community that surrounds our bags for life facility.

We enthusiastically awaited the grand opening of our new building with our bags for life partners Sid and Sajan talking (and walking us through) the blue prints and plans for the building structure. Our whole India family together took part in Durga Pujah ceremony to bless the building and everyone who works in it. And then the rains came.

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