Hiring an Apprentice is a great way to recruit new talent and diversify your workforce. Research from the National Apprenticeship Service found 96% of employers who have taken on Apprentices say their business benefited as a result.

NextGen Skills Academy has supported employers to develop four new Higher Apprenticeships for the Visual Effects (VFX) and Games industry. These are industry-relevant, vocational and highly targeted and will work for large companies as well as small ones.

Apprenticeships are cost-effective: they help your business grow and they offer a great opportunity to develop your existing staff as they support Apprentices to learn on the job. When the Apprenticeship Levy starts in April 2017, companies with a wage bill of more than £3m a year will be able to use their levy payments against the training of Apprentices including the ones developed with NextGen.

Apprentices bring fresh ideas and new energy. Taking on an Apprentice means that your business can teach them the most relevant and up-to-date skills, perfectly tailored for your company and sector.

Hiring an Apprentice is a lot like hiring an employee, but they may be younger and less experienced than your usual recruits. NextGen provides a recruitment service to help you identify good candidates and can also support you when it comes to identifying training providers. Contact us for further information on the services.

Money-wise, Government funding covers the majority of their training costs, so you may only have to pay their salary (this must be at least minimum apprenticeship wage). What's more, you may also be able to get an employer grant for up to five Apprentices.

At the end of the Apprenticeship training period, you're not obliged to give your Apprentice a permanent job, but you may well want to. Apprenticeships provide your business with savvy, talented, work-ready individuals.

To find out more about taking on an Apprentice, visit the National Apprenticeship Service and read the Creative Skillset guide to Apprenticeships in the creative industries.