What is an Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a job with substantial training and the development of transferable skills. It is a way for people of all ages to earn while they learn, gaining a real qualification and develop their career. Hiring apprentices is a productive and effective way for businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
Apprenticeships are available to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors in England. Employment is a fundamental part of an Apprenticeship – an Apprentice must be employed in a job role with a productive purpose.
Improve your bottom line – Apprenticeships deliver real returns to your bottom line, helping to improve productivity and competitiveness. Training Apprentices can also be more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs.
Fill your skills gaps – Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business needs, providing the skilled workers you need for the future. They also help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.
Motivate your workforce – Apprentices tend to be eager, motived, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. Remember, an Apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and have a commitment to a specific career.
Who can be an Apprentice?
- Apprentices are aged 16 and over and combine work and study for a suitable training programme ranging from Level 2 up to degree level.
- There is no upper age limit for an Apprentice.
- They can be new or current employees who need to develop substantial new skills.
- English, ICT and Maths are an important part of an Apprentice’s learning programme. They will need to complete Functional Skills Qualifications if they don’t have the requisite grades on entry. Apprentices without English or Maths at Level 1 must achieve this level and take the test for Level 2 before the end of the Apprenticeship.
- They must work with experienced staff, have a mentor and learn job specific skills.
- They must spend 20% or more of their time in off-the-job training.
- They must be paid at least minimum wage and have the same rights as any other employee.
How do I recruit an Apprentice?
You can recruit an Apprentice in several ways;
By yourself: advertising an Apprenticeship in the media, through a recruitment agency, by word of mouth or by speaking to your local schools / colleges. You may have had someone on work experience who may be suitable and interested in working for you after they have left soon.
By using the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) – “Recruit an Apprentice”: they will take details of your vacancy and advertise it through the NAS website. You will then be sent candidates applications to review.
By using Training Works as your training provider: this is by far the most popular route and helps save you time and resources. We will advertise your vancancy on the “Recruit an Apprentice” website, and if applicable Indeed.co.uk. We will provide you with a selection of suitable candidates and arrange interviews for you.
Existing Employers: current employees, of any age, are eligible and can enrol for an Apprenticeship at any time.
Training and Assessment of the Apprentice
There are three key essentials to training and assessment of an Apprentice:
- The Apprentice
- You, the Employer
- Training Works
It is important to remember that an Apprentice in the majority of cases would not have had experience of a professional working environment before, therefore they will probably need additional guidance and support to understand their role, the tasks they will be expected to carry out, and how they fit into your organisation.
Your Apprentice will need an introduction to your company which should include; health and safety training; an introduction and briefing on your company policies and procedures; any expectations you have of them including behaviour, dress code etc.
In addition, there is the on-going training you will be expected to give your Apprentice as you would any other employee.
We also recommend a designated supervisor, who is the person responsible for day to day involvement with the Apprentice and as a key contact.
The Individual Learning Plan (ILP) forms the basis of the training plan that will be undertaken with you or your supervisor, the Apprentice and Training Works.
It details the who, where and when of training your Apprentice. Training will take place in the workplace as well as with Training Works. Training is recorded in the ILP and will detail who is responsible for training the Apprentice. 20% of the agreed training must take place “off the job”.
Progress is reviewed at intervals with you and the Apprentice and is normally every month. Support is available through additional visits or over the telephone. All Training staff will have industry relevant skills and experience to support you and your Apprentice as part of the package.
We currently offer training in the following sectors (up to level 5 where applicable):
- Business Administration
- Customer Service
- Health & Social Care
- Team Leading
An incentive payment of £1,000.00 is available to any employer taking on an Apprentice aged 16-18 (or aged 19-24 with an Education Health and Care plan or care leaver). Payments are made via Training Works and passed on to the employer: £500.00 after month three and £500.00 after month twelve.
If you are a small business (with fewer than 50 employers) there will be no cost to you for an Apprentice aged 16-18 (or aged 19-24 with an Education Health and Care plan or care leaver).
If your business has more than 50 employees, you will pay only 5% of the training cost of each Apprentice. Businesses of this size pay for all ages, with no remission available for 16-18 year olds. Training Works endeavours to offer a cost-effective pricing package that does not compromise quality. Please contact us directly for more information on our Pricing Policy.
Employers of Apprentices under the age of 25 do not pay secondary Class 1 (employer) National Insurance contribution for their Apprentice.
“Skills for Care” provide Care providers with access to the Workforce Development Fund. You can check your eligibility for funding by contacting:
Health and Safety
As an Employer, you must take all necessary steps for securing the health, safety and welfare of any Apprentice in your care and ensure they are treated no differently than other members of your workforce. This includes risk assessment, supervision, provision of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and training. If there is an accident or occupational disease that affects an Apprentice, it must be reported so that obligations to monitor accidents can be met.
You must have appropriate Employers and Public Liability Insurance in place. Your Training Works representative will carry out a Health & Safety Appraisal on your company and will take copies of your Insurance before any training commences.