Employing Apprentices

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real paid job with training, enabling apprentices to earn while they learn and to achieve nationally recognised qualifications. Where there are vacancies employers would consider an apprentice as it provides efficiency gains and at the same time they contribute towards developing the skills of an individual.

Any business, no matter their size, can access Apprenticeships which can last from 12 months to four years, depending on the type or level of the programme. All apprenticeship qualifications are nationally recognised and are equivalent to the relevant traditional qualifications. The biggest incentive for an employer is that the qualification is tailored to the role so there is minimum adjustments required to support the apprentice to achieve a full qualification.

Apprentices can be recruited through the government’s apprenticeship vacancy site, in discussion with apprenticeship providers (such as SFX), or can be current employees. Apprentices are employed to perform a specific job role and, within the same period, they would study the subject specific to their apprenticeship. Anyone who is already employed and wants to access an apprenticeship is able to do so with their employer’s consent and this would not in any way affect their employment contract.

Apprenticeship Get-in-Go-far.

What apprenticeships are available?

Apprenticeships Intermediate

Equivalent to 5 GCSEs at grades A*–C

Apprenticeships Advanced

Equivalent to 2 A Levels (Can progress to university)

Apprenticeships Higher

Level 4 is equivalent to a higher national diploma; Level 5 a foundation degree; Level 7 a master’s degree

Employing an apprentice

To employ an apprentice, employers are required to:

  • employ and apprentice for a minimum of 12 months. After This period the employer can choose offer a permanent job or allow the apprentice to continue with an advanced or higher apprenticeship.
  • pay the National Minimum Wage. The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.40 per hour. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year (see table below).
  • provide employment for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
  • agree to the supporting the apprentice to successfully complete the apprenticeship.
  • give at least 20 days paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays.

National Minimum Wages

Year 25 and over 21-24 18-20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2016 £7.20 £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.40

(Source: www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates)