What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships have moved on from what they used to be and are an exciting option for both apprentice and employer. You can now employ apprentices at all different levels, from school leavers to people that want to further their careers or change career direction completely. It’s an opportunity to take on a new employee and train them to become a valued member of your team and it’s not just for ‘the trades’, apprenticeships are available in a wide range of industries and career choices. Q&A: How do apprenticeships work?

Are they just for school leavers?

No. Not anymore. Anyone from 16-100 can be an apprentice! As an employer, you choose the level of training you’re willing to offer. For example, a level 2 apprenticeship is equivalent to GCSE level, while a level 6 or 7 degree apprenticeship is equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

What training do I have to offer an apprentice?

At least 20% of normal working hours should be for ‘off the job’ training e.g. at college, on your premises or a combination. Additionally, you must allow time during normal working hours for study. You’ll need to agree apprenticeship standards, these set out the knowledge, skills and behaviour the apprentice needs to be competent in to reach the correct level of qualification.

How much does an apprentice get paid?

They must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage, this depends on their age and which year of apprenticeship the individual is in (please ask if you’re not sure). Note that the apprentice rate is currently under review.

Are there any restrictions?

The contract must be for at least 30 hours of work per week and must last for at least one year.

What’s the best way to hire an apprentice?

There are local and national training providers who can help with:
  • Finding the right training
  • Advertising the apprenticeship
  • Recruiting and interviewing apprentices
  • Writing job descriptions and person specifications
  • Preparing your apprentice for the workplace
  • Making sure your apprentice is working in an appropriate environment
  • Finding the right pace of learning for your apprentice
  • Making sure your apprentice is learning the relevant skills for your business

How do I find a training provider?

There are two useful websites to try: https://findapprenticeshiptraining.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk/ https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/

Is there any difference in the recruitment process?

No, you will use the usual recruitment process. Please contact Moss HR for help with your recruitment.

What contracts do I need to offer?

In addition to the normal Contract of Employment, setting out pay, working conditions etc, you will also need an Apprenticeship Agreement. This outlines what they are being trained for, the name of the apprenticeship they are working toward, dates of apprenticeship, the amount of off-the-job training they will receive etc. You will also need a signed commitment statement between the apprentice and training provider.

I’ve read about an Apprenticeship Levy?

If your organisation’s annual salary bill is more than £3m, you will need to pay a levy. The business will need to register and training can be paid for from this account. If you do not pay the levy, you can fund the training in one of two ways:
  • Using the apprenticeship service OR
  • Through a contract for funding held by the training provider
In this instance, you will be asked to make a 5% contribution (over the lifetime of the training) towards the cost. The Government pays the remaining 95% up to the maximum allocated. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-apprenticeship-funds has more information and you can use the apprenticeship service to access apprenticeship training.

I’m a small business, is there additional support for me?

There is additional support available, depending on your business circumstances, including if you have fewer employees. For more information, please contact Moss HR or visit https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/755071/L_W_Supporting_young_apprentice_guide_V7_HR.pdf

Are there incentive payments at the moment?

From 1 September 2020, anyone employing an apprentice will be paid an incentive by the government. Payments will be made from January 2021 and the amount paid depends on the age of the employee:
  • 16-18 year olds or those under 25 with a EHCP – £3,000
  • 19-24 year olds – £2,000
  • Over 25’s – £1-1,500

Be quick, this incentive scheme is currently due to end on 31 January 2021.

For more information, or to discuss your apprenticeship opportunities, please call Joanne Moss on 07789 038409 or email [email protected]

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