Employer’s Guide To Apprenticeships

Want to hire an apprentice? Head straight to the specific apprenticeship advice for your industry 👇 

Otherwise, here’s an overview of everything you need to know before you hire an apprentice… 

You can use the below links to navigate to different sections:

Or just scroll through the page to be in the know of all our apprenticeship advice!

What is an Apprenticeship? 

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying assessment and skills development programme.  The role must last at least 12 months, and off-the-job training should take up at least 20% of the apprentice’s time.

Speaking of the apprentice, this can be a new entrant to the business or from your current workforce. 

Why provide an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a long-term investment and solution for problems within your business. They can help your business make more money and communicate with more individuals.

Employers who have an established apprenticeship programme reported that productivity in their workplace had improved by 76%. Whilst 74% reported that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service.

But also, apprenticeships are the way forward for many industries. To bring a diverse workforce and foster new talent.

Increase employee satisfaction and workplace productivity. 
Decrease staff turnover and recruitment costs
And they work towards closing the skills gap!!!
Benefits of offering an Apprenticeship

And of course, it benefits the Apprentice:

  • Earn as you learn 
  • Nationally recognised training 
  • No student debt 

A win-win for the Employer, Apprentice, AND Industry! 

So, that’s why you should get on board with apprenticeships within your business. And there are a few more details you should know about…

Busting Apprenticeship Myths 

After some research, these are the top apprenticeship myths: 

Common apprenticeship myths:
1. Apprenticeships are only for
young people (16-18)
2. 20% off-the-job training 
isn’t flexible
3. they are entry-level & only 
for low skilled people
4. Apprenticeships cannot be
used for existing staff
4 common myths about apprenticeships

There is a common misconception that apprenticeships are only for young people (16-18). 

However, apprenticeships are available to people of all ages; anyone over the age of 16 living in England can apply. And this leads to another myth that… 

Apprenticeships cannot be used for existing staff. 

In fact, they can be used to upskill and/or retain employees of any age. This includes older workers and existing staff.  

There is a stigma that apprenticeships are entry-level & only for low-skilled people. 

This is definitely not true. There are different entry requirements depending on the industry, job role, and apprenticeship level. Apprenticeship levels range from level 2 (GCSE equivalent), through to 6 & 7 (bachelor’s and master’s degree). Businesses may offer multiple apprenticeships at different levels.  

The final myth is that 20% off-the-job training isn’t flexible. 

This misunderstanding is something that puts a lot of businesses off from offering apprenticeships. Many think it HAS to involve 1 day off work and at college. But this off-the-job training can be delivered in a way and place that suits the employer and provider. The style and timing of the learning is varied. It could be 1 day in college a week but could alternatively be a block of time in a Residential setting or online to fit with shifts. 

So, in reality, it’s flexible. And can be adapted to suit your business needs. 

What you need to know before hiring an Apprentice

There are several legalities involved that classify this type of role as an apprenticeship. Regarding the apprentice and employer… 

Apprentice Responsibilities: 

  • Over 16 years old 
  • Spend at least 50% of working hours in England throughout the apprenticeship  
  • Not in full-time education 

Employer Responsibilities: 

  • Must have a genuine job available with a contract of employment long enough to complete the apprenticeship. 
  • Offer the same employee rights as any other employee e.g., paid holidays, sick leave   
  • Must pay the wages (& apprenticeship levy if bill over £3million a year) 

Cost of an Apprentice

Apprenticeship Levy

If you have an annual bill of over £ 3 million, you will be automatically enrolled in the Apprenticeship Levy. You could be paying for apprentices and not even know it! Every employer can access help from the Apprenticeship Levy. It’s just that smaller employers (with a bill less than £3 million annually), pay just 5% of the apprenticeship training – the rest is funded. And you can access funding for up to 10 employees!

If you haven’t spent all of your levy funds, they expire after 24 months. So, the sooner you start employing apprentices the better! You can benefit your business and use the funds that are there to help you achieve it.

How to Hire an Apprentice  

There are 6 main steps you can follow if you want to take on an Apprentice:

6 steps to take on an apprentice:
1. Choose an apprenticeship for your business
2. Find an organisation that offers training for the chosen apprenticeship
3. Check what training funding you can get
4. Create an apprenticeship service account - needed to manage funding and recruit apprentices
5. Advertise your apprenticeship - can do this yourself or give your training provider permission to
6. Make an apprenticeship agreement and training plan with apprentice
6 steps to Hiring an Apprentice

Want more apprenticeship advice? Head to info for your industry and start the apprenticeship process today.