The government recently announced plans to put a levy on employers to ensure that a certain percentage of new employees are apprentices. This new call to arms for apprentices has shown a determination from the government to improve the prospects of young apprentices across the country, and is a positive step forward.

However, how will this affect employers? How do they feel about having to accept more apprentices to their businesses? Having pondered about this question, we decided to compare three main employees and answer an important question: Who would best suit your organisation’s circumstances: apprentices, temporary employees or fixed employees?  

If you are a business owner yourself and are struggling with this very question, or if you are considering how best to look for employment, then this article should hopefully provide you with some valuable information… read on!

Qualified Employees on a Temporary Basis


Since 1946, temp workers have enjoyed a steady rise in popularity, though at first their occupations were confined to filing clerks and secretarial work. Nowadays, their work varies between accountancy, finance, healthcare, medicine, science, law and tradesmen on agency. 

Temporary employees are those workers who are employed on a short term basis. They can be a great way of securing qualified work at short notice and quickly, and ensuring that you aren’t fatally short of staff in case of a staff illness or some other emergency, thus improving productivity, saving time and money. 

Temporary workers also ensure that your workplace is flexible, and doesn’t become too dependent on the fixed term staff. That way, the workplace is always thriving and evolving without stagnating and becoming unproductive. 


Due to their short-term status, temporary employees are perhaps less likely to feel like a true asset to the business, and it is vital for staff to feel as though they are a valuable and contributing member of the working community. 

Also, temps rarely get the opportunity to build relationships with their co-workers, and might feel isolated during the time of their employment. This could impact on work ethic and the general feeling in the workplace.

Qualified Employees on a Fixed Term Basis 


The benefits of hiring permanent staff seems pretty obvious: they arrive at a workplace hoping that they can stay on a long-term basis, meaning that they are committed and motivated on arrival. 
They want to impress both co-workers and their employers, will have the development of their careers in mind, and will be striving to perform at their highest possible standard. 

Fixed term employees will have a better opportunity to make friends quickly, and truly establish themselves as members of the working community much quicker and easier than those who know they won’t be sticking around for long


The theory that fixed term employees always feel more involved and productive isn’t always observed in practice. Indeed, sometimes temporary workers outperform the fixed workers!

The explanation for this might be that temps don’t always share the negativity and counter-productive energies that arise due to office politics and bad management. Because of their detachment from the working community, they don’t become easily dissatisfied, like other fixed workers might become. 

In addition to this, a business full of fixed term employees could become too comfortable with their positions and feel able to relax their work ethic. With new employees coming and going, the permanent staff will always need to be on their toes, trying to outperform the new arrivals, creating healthy competition and increasing productivity. 



Apprentices are unique in their ability to increase productivity and efficiency in a business. No other kind of employee arrives at a new occupation with the same desire to learn and develop, nor with the same youthful enthusiasm and wonder at the opportunities opened up to them. 

A significant amount of businesses across the UK are recognising the benefits of recruiting apprentices. Many see it as a great way of filling the skills gaps that might exist in their business, which ultimately helps them develop specialist knowledge to improve the bottom line. 


An argument against apprenticeships is that they involve the employment of potentially inexperienced workers in parallel with their formal classroom education, therefore they might not have the knowledge that a qualified employee would have. 

This will likely take three years and considerable coaching to achieve, which could put strain on a company’s resources and potential output.

Who Wins? 

Although each type of employee has its own downsides and negatives, the workforce is better off with a variety of them all. 

The fixed employees make up a stable, committed workforce who can help guide and welcome the new arrivals, be they temps or apprentices. They are driven in their own way, to improve themselves and perhaps climb the career ladder, and they are also experienced and perhaps slightly older. 

Although temps aren’t always thinking about committing long term to the company, they keep the permanent workers on their toes, constantly refreshing their competitive natures and ensuring that the workplace is always increasing its productivity and doesn’t become stale. 

Apprenticeships, are an essential part of the modern business. They combine the best elements of a fixed and temporary employee, with the motivation and drive of both. They have the opportunity to engage with and feel part of the working community, and the desire to improve and develop their newly learnt skills. 

And The Winner Is… Access Training

Aside from the pros and cons of these employee types, Access Training offers an alternative. With our fast-track courses, our highly experienced tutors and the best facilities in the country, we train our students with the highest possible attention and quality in a condensed time-scale.

With fast-track courses the new way forward for the learning industry, we can supply you with a highly skilled workman for a fraction of the cost and time of other types of employees. 

At Access Training, we offer the best combination of teaching and practical learning, all lasting a matter of weeks. We believe that we have a formula which works for our students, leaving them highly qualified, still eager to learn and enthusiastic about their trade, and making them extremely employable candidates. 

To find out more about our courses, go to our homepage or give us a call on 0800 345 7492 and talk to our course advisers. They will be happy to answer any queries or questions you might have. 

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