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HR FAQ – what do employers need to know about apprenticeships?

As an employer, there are some key things you need to be aware of when it comes to apprenticeships.  You need to understand what they are, what you can use them for and what’s in it for you.  You also need to understand your obligations – what does the apprentice expect and need from you?

The basics

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers, which lead to national recognised qualifications.

You can use Apprenticeships to train both new and existing employees.

Funding is available to train apprentices.

Depending on the sector and job role, an Apprenticeship can take anything between one and four years to complete. It is a package of on-the-job training and qualifications.

The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £2.68 per hour. Many employers prefer to pay more however, and research shows that the average salary is approx £170 per week.

Your obligations

Apprenticeships exist to help train employees in a work-based training programme.  The apprentice will learn how to work in your business and in your industry.  In return, you will provide them with the training and support they need while they learn.  You must:

  • Pay their wages
  • Give them a thorough induction into their role and the company
  • Make them aware of any health & safety requirements
  • Ensure that under 18 year olds are not left unsupervised at any time
  • Provide on-the-job training
  • Allow them to attend college (or other specialist training provider)
  • Agree and monitor a training plan
  • Give them an apprenticeship contract
  • Monitor and evaluate their training and performance

In summary

Above all, if you make the commitment to take on an apprentice, you must also commit to training them, supporting them, motivating them and allowing them to learn.  Remember that this could be their first job and the experience they have as an apprentice can make or break their attitudes towards work and their future careers.  No pressure then.

More questions?

If you some questions about apprenticeships, get in touch on 01487 815720.

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