Apprentices may not have the skills of a seasoned pro, but they’re ready and willing to learn. Hiring one of these aspiring individuals can bring a number of benefits to your company. If you have the time to take an apprentice under your wing, here are a few reasons why it might be of benefit:
1. Ability to Handle More Work
When you have an apprentice by your side, you can handle more work than you can on your own. Apprentices can help with support tasks, and as you show them how to do more complicated work, eventually they can do these jobs with less supervision and guidance. That saves you time and gives you a bit of a break from hard labour.
2. Savings on Wages
Traditionally, you don’t have to pay apprentices as much as you pay skilled workers. That saves you money on payroll. Apprentices are less expensive to employ because they are still learning, and as a result, they likely can’t support you in the way a skilled tradesperson can. Depending on your work load and current needs, this trade off can work perfectly. In many cases, you may not need a master of the trade. Rather, you may just need someone who can support your business without driving up payroll costs.
3. Shaping the Ideal Employee
When you hire an apprentice, you don’t just take on a student. Instead, you may want to treat the apprenticeship as the beginning of a long relationship. Whether you’re a plumber, an electrician, or another type of tradesperson, you impart knowledge about the industry to your apprentice. Beyond that, you can also train your apprentice to your specifications. That can help ensure you have the person you need for upcoming projects, expansion, and economic growth. For example, if you know that a key employee plans to retire in the next few years, you can train an apprentice to fill this specific role.
4. Learning From Teaching
Sharing your trade with an apprentice can also help you hone and refine your skills. When you show someone else how to do your job, you get to review basic skills, and you may even come up with new ways of looking at the work at hand.
5. Tax Credit
In addition to the above benefits, you may also be able to claim a nonrefundable tax credit for businesses who hire eligible apprentices. The credit is worth 10% of the wages you pay the apprentice, up to $2,000. For instance, if you pay an apprentice $15,000 over a year, you can claim a credit worth $1,500. That amount directly lowers your tax liability, but it cannot result in a refund. If you can’t use the credit the year you earn it, you can carry it forward for 20 years or apply it to previous tax returns from the last three years. As a sole proprietor, you can claim this credit using Form T2038 (IND) Investment Tax Credit (Individuals). Hiring an apprentice is a great way to give back to your industry by helping to train eager individuals. This relationship doesn’t just benefit your industry in general. It also benefits your company in important ways.