Small businesses discover the benefits of Apprentices

89% of Oxfordshire businesses have less than 10 employees and in the run up to Small Business Saturday, Oxfordshire Apprenticeships are encouraging more small businesses to discover the benefits of employing an Apprentice. We’re keen to ensure that local employers are aware of the advice and support available to them with employing an Apprentice for the first time.

This week, we teamed up with independent cafes in towns across the county – themselves small businesses - to hold a series of Apprenticeships surgery sessions for employers to come along and find out how an Apprentice could benefit their business and ask any questions they might have about employing an Apprentice.

We were kindly hosted and made very welcome by Hackett’s in Witney, Rumsey’s in Thame, Café Copia in Henley and Caffe Veneto in Banbury. We also received fantastic support from the town teams and local business networks, who helped to promote the Apprenticeships Roadshow and encourage small business owners to come along.

We met a variety of employers looking for Apprentices in roles such as carpentry, joinery, property services, business admin, warehousing and customer service. Their businesses differed vastly but they all shared a real enthusiasm for getting involved with Apprenticeships and keenness to offer opportunities to local young people.

We are now working with those employers to help them get started. If you own or work for a small business and are interested in employing an Apprentice, please get in touch – we’re here to help! We know how busy you are, so can visit you in your workplace at your convenience for a chat.

Have a look at this summary of our Small Business Apprenticeships Roadshow, including some photos of the employers we met and the lovely cafes that hosted us.


So what are the benefits to small businesses of employing Apprentices?  Richard Hunter, director of social media management company Social Sidekick, sums it up well, saying: “Having only recently started our Apprenticeship scheme, we have gone from one Apprentice to four in a very short space of time. This growth is a testament to the hard work, the innovation and the fresh ideas that Apprentices can bring to your business. Not only that, but you can shape them into well rounded future employees while providing them with a qualification and zero debt - all the while they are building their experience and learning on the job. Apprentices are quite simply brilliant. I would encourage you all to go and get one!”