Hiring an apprentice – what to expect

If you’re planning to hire an apprentice for your business, it’s important to know what to expect from them and an apprenticeship scheme. Participation in an apprenticeship scheme can have many benefits for a business, from having an employee’s off-the-job training costs paid for, to being able to develop someone into an important part of your company over time. By working with training providers such as Anne Clarke Associates, it’s also possible to structure courses and receive advice on how best to mix study and work hours for a new apprentice.

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Apprenticeship schemes are designed to give those aged 16-24 the chance to learn while in a job – theory and lessons are provided alongside working regular hours in a business, meaning that a company can gain an employee who’s also being trained in a related discipline outside of the office. Courses tend to last for between one and four years, and can cover everything from business management to very specific industrial skills.

Different levels of apprenticeships are available for candidates, ranging from Intermediate to Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships, with the latter often leading to foundation degrees. A minimum of 30 hours is required for a candidate per week within a business, while the rest is taken up by training courses that are funded by the government – matching funds can also be provided for on the job training. You pay a wage to the apprentice, which can be as low as £2.65, but can also be higher. National Minimum Wages should be gradually increased up to the appropriate level for someone’s age. Some incentive grants are also available for small businesses to take on new apprentices.

To find out more about potential apprentices, and the chance to participate in an apprenticeship program, you’ll need to establish yourself as a viable company through the National Apprenticeship Service, as well as through local colleges and training providers. Adverts can be placed online and through local colleges to attract potential apprentices. Eligibility criteria can include the need to offer a large enough number of hours, as well as guarantees over wages.

Governmental funding support for apprenticeship training courses runs from 100 per cent for those aged between 16 and 18, and 50 per cent for those aged 19 to 24. There are some opportunities for funding for apprentices over the age of 24, although this tends to be more of an exception. As a business, you need to work with training providers to establish a system for setting up courses and managing the time of new employees so that they can be comfortable in mixing work and learning.

There are consequently many advantages for a business that wants to hire an apprentice, with the expectation that you will be able to help in the development of a highly trained employee. You can also take on as many apprentices as you need, as long as you have the resources to provide induction services. Mentors from training providers can work with you to ensure that you’re providing the right training, and to prevent any problems from developing.

Author Bio : Sophie Wiggins blogs about apprenticeships and new training opportunities for young people. She recommends working with Anne Clarke Associates if you’re a business participating in an apprenticeship. She also blogs about work based learning schemes around the country.

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