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How to recruit an apprentice

Whilst for many new employees this has been a last resort for many years, work-based learning programmes or apprenticeships are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve, as employers begin to see the benefits for both their organisation and the employee.  An apprentice can be anybody aged sixteen and over and can be a new or existing employee.

Before deciding that an apprentice is the right route to fill your staff vacancies, it is important to understand the recruitment process and the options available to you when hiring for such a vacancy. It is also worth mentioning that in today’s working world an apprentice must earn at least the minimum wage and not the highly reduced salaries associated with this type of position ten years ago. However, for UK companies you may be eligible for government funding to help cover the cost of training.

Before starting your recruitment process, you must choose an apprenticeship framework that is suitable to your industry and the appropriate level of the apprenticeship role.  This framework will ensure that you as an employer cover all the statutory requirements for an apprenticeship programme in England. This is often used by colleges and training providers to make sure that all apprenticeship programmes are delivered to the same national standard.  You can find help searching for the appropriate framework at https://findapprenticeshiptraining.sfa.bis.gov.uk/

Step 2
Find an organisation who offers training at the level you require.  Spending a bit of time researching providers will ensure that you obtain the right training for the skill set that you are trying to create, which in the long run will greatly benefit both you the employer, and the employee.

Step 3
When taking on an apprenticeship you are entitled to financial help from the government. However, as with all financial aid there are restrictions and rules to follow, and the amount you receive will depend on whether or not you pay the apprenticeship levy or a fee for employers with an annual pay bill of £3 million.

If you don’t pay the levy you only have to pay 10% to your chosen training provider. The government will pay the remaining 90% directly to the training organisation so there isn’t even any administration for you to worry about.

If however you do have to pay the levy, you will receive funds that are to be allocated for training and assessing your apprentice and the government will then add 10%.  How you receive these funds all depends upon what part of the UK your business operates in.

Step 4
Once funding is in place, you are ready to advertise your apprenticeship. More often than not your training provider will be able to help you with this through a database called ‘find your apprentice’.

Step 5
Once you have secured your apprentice, it is vital that you complete an apprenticeship agreement with them.  This contract should outline exactly what you are offering – including, length of hire period, what training will be provided, their working conditions and of course the qualifications they are working towards.

If you would like to find out more about how apprenticeships can benefit your business, please contact a member of our experience recruitment team on 0330 111 5353.

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