The Millennials have had their day. The new kids on the block are Gen Z and they could make for the perfect apprentice, suggests Ryan Latham
WHEN your company’s workload begins to pile up and you need an extra pair of hands on a project, there are a few avenues you can take.
You can hire a freelancer, get in touch with a contractor, or spend every waking moment working on things yourself (not a great option).
Recently, though, more and more businesses are taking advantage of an underestimated option: apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for businesses to gain productive, enthusiastic workers while also investing in developing skilled employees. As well as having the financial benefit of low staff costs, they provide a great source of energy and fresh ideas.
The Government is also in full support, as the Apprenticeship Levy helps businesses fund apprentices with the aim of supporting quality training with employers at the centre.
If you’re looking to hire an apprentice, Gen Z is your hunting ground: they make up the vast majority of apprenticeships candidates today. Don’t be fooled into thinking they spend all their time glued to their phones, though: Gen Z is a vein of untapped potential.
What is Gen Z?
People often lump everyone under thirty in a category called ‘Millennials’ but this isn’t technically correct.
Millennials are categorised as those born between 1981 and 1994, making them 22-37 years of age today. This makes Gen Z – those born after 1995 – the workforce of tomorrow, so it’s important you know who they are and what drives them.
The benefits of hiring a Gen Z apprentice
- They’re tech savvy
Whereas Millennials grew up in the digital age, Gen Z’ers were born into it. And while it might be tempting for some to bellyache about them being glued to their smartphones, Gen Z’s technophilia comes with a useful side-effect: they can easily wrap their heads around new technology.
For industries that are heavily rooted in computing or digital technologies, Gen Z apprentices are able to integrate into their role effortlessly.
So, whereas Brian from accounting may not like the new operating system, a Gen Z apprentice will learn it inside out.
- They’re masters of multitasking
When kids have grown up streaming a YouTube tutorial as they Facetime a friend while adding shopping to their virtual basket, is it any surprise that they are skilled at multitasking? Whether they are posting, commenting or swiping, Gen Z’ers have adapted to using multiple platforms simultaneously.
This ingrained skill is adaptable to almost any work environment, meaning you’ll have no trouble putting this to good use. This can be as simple as taking detailed minutes in a meeting or as complex as cross-platform data entry.
- They have a short attention span (yes, that’s a good thing)
Gen Z’ers are constantly absorbing information, often in the blink of an eye. Spending their youth surrounded by apps such as Snapchat and Instagram have made receiving constant updates the norm, which has ultimately stunted their attention spans.
This has, however, given Gen Z’ers an advantage when it comes to absorbing information. As they’re accustomed to receiving a barrage of updates, Gen Z’ers have a knack for processing information faster than other generations and are highly adaptable to change, meaning they can absorb the barrage of updates in Monday’s meeting even when no one else can.
- They’re entrepreneurial thinkers
Gen Z’ers have grown up in a world of innovation, full of developing technology and connected to every corner of the globe. They’ve seen what’s possible and want a piece of the action for themselves.
This has resulted in a generation of young adults who are starting their careers with an entrepreneurial head on their shoulders. They are full of ideas – use them before someone else does.
Take your business into the next generation
Gen Z has an advantage over older generations, simply due to how they have been raised in the digital age.
By being familiar with new technology, expert multi-taskers and full of fresh ideas they are in a great position to become an asset to your business. Plus, as they are quick at absorbing new information, they are ideal candidates for training courses to help them develop further.
Ryan Latham is a senior marketing executive for 3B Training.