Using Apprenticeships to Increase Workforce Diversity

Diversity awareness is much more prominent than it used to be and over the last decade, awareness of diversity in the workplace has been influenced by the popularity of apprenticeships. Despite this, many organisations still lack a diverse workforce. 75% of employees still believe more diversity is needed and business owners and employers need to look at ways to increase diversity.  The lack of diversity in most workplaces isn’t a conscious choice and can be due to a lack of resource or expertise to make a difference.

Businesses who are committed to tackling diversity then the HR and learning and training teams can consider these points for moving forward and creating more diversity.

Recognise the Problem

If the senior leadership team in a company does not believe there is a diversity problem, you will have a hard time tackling it. Creating momentum needs to lead from the top and you need to ask yourself and ask the leadership team: “Does our company really represent the diversity of our local area?” “Are we actively working to encourage workers from all backgrounds and of all ages into our business?”

Create a Diversity Strategy

While your business should already have a diversity strategy, it probably needs updating if you’re concerned about your current demographics. Diversity issues differ from business to business. You may have a gender imbalance, minimal representation of Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) groups at senior (or any) level of your business or may realise you have an ageing workforce with no younger talent given the chance to flourish. Put a plan in motion with the HR department with goals for bringing in talented individuals in different groups.

Educate Hiring Managers

Anyone responsibility for hiring within your business should have an in-depth understanding of the strategies and goals you have in place to increase diversity. Looking for the perfect candidate for every role should be balanced against trying new hiring practices such as bringing in motivated and keen-to-learn apprentices who can be shaped and developed into loyal and committed employees.

Keep Tabs on your Work

There is no point putting a strategy or plans in place if you don’t monitor them closely. Look at your success and celebrate them, as well as learning how you can continue to work positively to encourage a more diverse and community-representative workforce.

Once you begin to improve your workplace diversity, you will attract a wider talent pool and this will give your business even more scope for hiring the right people for your company and giving others a chance to see if they’re the perfect fit.