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!”


 

Hewden ‘Clubs Together’ £25,000 at Annual Golf Day Charity Fundraiser

National specialist equipment and crane hirer, Hewden has held its annual supplier golf day, raising more than £25,000 for UK construction and property industry charity for the homeless, CRASH.

The one-day event, held in Mottram Hall Golf Club, Cheshire brought together senior representatives from some of the industry’s leading firms for a golf day and gala dinner to raise money for the industry charity.

Speaking at the event, Hewden’s Marketing Director, Kumar Bhamidipati said: “CRASH is an organisation that Hewden has been proud to support for a number of years. Everyone involved with the charity does incredible work to support homeless people and help them build a future within the construction industry.

“Thanks to the generous donations from our suppliers, the Hewden team and those that attended the gala dinner we are delighted to make a record Hewden donation of £23,000 to this very worthy cause.”

As well as raising money for charity, Hewden’s annual supplier golf day provides the opportunity for the hirer to better understand the products, services and innovations that can be passed onto its customers.

“Establishing face-to-face relationships with suppliers and partners is very much part of our strategy and philosophy to deliver the best on-site solutions for our customers. We will continue to build on events like this to better improve the industry and the communities we serve,” added Bhamidipati.

THS Show 2015 – 40 Years to Celebrate and a New Venue

Report by Peter Brett

With 40 years of trading to celebrate, 2015 is an important year for THS. The Directors spoke of addressing the range of challenges facing the tool market with confidence. Perhaps one of the less challenging decisions was to organize the annual show at the new venue at Donington Park. The decision was, in the opinions of everyone I spoke to, a great success because it got the thumbs up for a wide range of reasons. For visitors, the warm space was welcoming and well lit and organised, with facilities like tea, coffee and snack food available on tap. There were a number of informal sitting areas where the free Wi-Fi could be accessed as well as a huge demo area for the people who just need to see the “hands-on” stuff. People like me for example!

The exhibitors also liked the venue because of its easy motorway and airport access and free and generous parking close by. But their biggest thumbs-up was for the ease and speed of access to the hall for setting up stands. A big plus, especially for those who need to get going quickly at the end of a day – October being a very busy month for shows and exhibitions.

A theme for some of the exhibitors I spoke to was how to make the best use of show days. Many had new stand designs, publicity, video demos, mini-competitions and the staples of free pens and chocolate. Successful marketing often means being able to stand out from the crowd, so they are looking at increasingly ingenious methods to do just that. However, it still seems that a really slick demo is a crowd puller and sales generator. I await the results of the post mortems with interest…

The power tool market continues to grow in double digits each year, and there were many power tool companies who had new models on display. Flex Power Tools had a range of new 18v drivers to show. Very compact and up to date, I look forward to giving them a review in ToolBUSINESS +HIRE soon.

Key news at Hitachi centred on the new site radio (see this November’s issue) and the 12v cordless driver duo.

Metabo’s big draw was its excellent range of well-priced and very capable mitre saws – all bases covered from mains to cordless. The new Lithium HD battery technology has been a phenomenal success too.

Fein had newish mains Multi-Master with reduced noise and vibration, but with the 18v cordless version now in stock, my fingers are twitching to get a test done soon. Also new, were the 12v cordless drivers (It seems to me that 12v is the new 14.4v as so many manufacturers seem to be launching new models in that segment.) 

Over at Panasonic, the new “carbon fibre” look drivers have a number of key advantages like dual battery platforms and weather sealing. In an era where choosing the best battery platform for you is key, since it will very likely ensure continued loyalty to a brand, battery flexibility makes a lot of sense.

Draper had a prominent stand as ever and with new products aplenty promised in the New Year, I am keen to get down to Draper’s demo and sales area at Chandlers Ford to get my hands dirty.

Wera always has a steady stream of new concepts to market, most of which add directly to the Wera “System” and make it easy for users to continue to buy Wera kit.

Rollins had a generous display of some very good “standard” products like Estwing Hammers and Channellock pliers that no trade can afford to ignore. But when you have used a quality hammer for example, it is very hard to ignore the shortcomings of a cheap hammer, especially if you are using it every day.

DART Tools have a similar philosophy, picking from a range of manufacturers to provide best value and quality for many users.

The brightest stand by far was Schneider’s – lit by its range of very well designed and flexible work lights. In a market driven by price it was good to see such clever functionality and bright but diffused lights.

As a dealer, one can’t afford to ignore work clothing these days, and the competition is very fierce. Brands like Dickies and JCB are well established, but the new boy on the block, Dassy from Belgium, displayed a good range of standard workwear for men, as well as a range designed to fit women perfectly - a trend that acknowledges the growing number of women in the trades.

Adhesives, paints, lubricants were also well represented. I need to find a good use for the sample cartridge of Siroflex adhesive, but since I use wipes all the time now, the Ambersil ones look like they will go straight into my site bag ready for use. Delta adhesives and silicon tapes are also high on my agenda since I always seem to have a few minor emergencies that need dealing with. And to throw a light on it all, a good torch from Coast or LED Lenser is now an absolute necessity as the clocks go back on Sunday.

Although gambling wasn’t on the menu this year, the Radisson Hotel was a spacious and gracious venue for the annual members’ and suppliers’ dinner. A relaxed event, and judging from the babble of conversation, a very friendly and chatty one too. Well done THS organisers!

For more photos of the day visit www.facebook.com/ToolBUSINESSHIRE-Magazine/

Scroll to Top