Does ‘Generation Z’ provide the perfect apprentices?

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 – the latter by the way is 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, Generation Z, or 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

1. 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.

2. They’re masters of multitasking

When kids have grown up using 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.

3. 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 has 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.

4. They are 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 multitaskers 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, senior marketing executive for 3B Training, has experienced firsthand how businesses can benefit from hiring a Gen Z apprentice.

He said: “As a former apprentice myself I am definitely on board with the system, it’s a great opportunity to get on the first step of your career ladder.

"We also have a Gen Z’er apprentice working under me in our marketing department and she has been highly beneficial. She is highly tech-savvy and has actually taught me a thing or two about newer social platforms.

"She can complete tasks almost twice as fast as I can and to a great standard, don’t write off the Gen Z generation!”


How important is saving for a pension in the construction industry?

WHEN you work in the construction industry, it can be hard to look past the project you are currently working on as there will be so much to focus on.

While it is smart to be focused on the task at hand, it is important to plan for the future particularly when it comes to retirement and your pension.

A pension will provide you with more money to enjoy when you finally decide to ‘pack it all in’ and start to lead a life of luxury.

What is more, if you are self-employed – as many builders, plumbers and carpenters are – then you will need to plan for your future even more.

Having a pension and planning for retirement is incredibly important, but it seems the total of savings has dropped amongst millennials since 2016 which is a cause for concern.

Confusion over pensions

One of the main reasons millennials and other groups are contributing less to their retirement is confusion over how pensions work. However, the duty of your employer to explain how pensions work, regardless of the industry.

Open a dialogue with your employers so that they can explain the process in more depth, if needed.

Learning about pensions

Portafina is a brilliant resource for learning everything you need to know about pensions. Here you can learn how pensions work, the benefits of having a pension, the different types of pension are available and how to manage your pension. Portafina can be used to make the intelligent decision about your pension so you can build towards a brighter future once you decide to retire from the construction industry.


One of the key aspects to be aware of when it comes to pensions is tax relief. When you add funds to your pot, the UK government will refund the amount of income tax that you've paid. This will help you to make huge savings in the long run (although there is a limit).

Additionally, there are tax breaks: the funds that you add to your pension are not taxed.

Compound interest

Essentially, this means the more savings that you put into your pension pot, the more money you’ll save as there is a snowball effect - this is compound of interest which Albert Einstein once claimed was “the eighth wonder of the world”.

Peace of mind

It is understandable millennials and other groups are struggling to add to their pension due to the cost of living and rent and property prices, but saving a small amount on a regular basis can go a long way and provide important peace of mind for you and your family.

Visit Portafina Discovery to find out more about pensions and how they can help to build towards a comfortable retirement after retiring from construction. You can also receive helpful updates at the Portafina LinkedIn, Portafina Facebook, Portafina Youtube and Twitter pages. Check out Portafina jobs for a rewarding career related to pensions.

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