July 17

Apprentices….all you need to know about engaging one in your business….

It’s not just traditional industries or large organisations that are choosing the apprenticeship route nowadays. All sorts of businesses are finding it a useful way to recruit and train staff. Apprenticeships now cover more than 170 industries and 1,500 job roles from entry to degree level

How do I hire an apprentice?

• Check their age…apprentices must be aged 16 or over by the end of the next summer holidays.
• Check where they are living….the apprentice will need to be living in England if that’s where the apprenticeship is based.
• Check whether they are in full time education or not….only people who are out of full-time education can start one.

Apart from that, it’s up to you to review any applications and decide who would make the best apprentice for your business. Apprentices can be new to your business, or they might already be an employee.

What’s the cost of hiring an apprentice?

You’ll need to pay at least the minimum wage for apprentices which is currently £3.70/hour. All apprentices are entitled to this rate if they’re aged under 19, or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

If your apprentice is aged 19 or over and has completed the first year of their apprenticeship, you’ll need to pay the correct minimum wage for their age group.

Do I need to pay my apprentice sick pay?

Here’s what you can expect to be paying and providing:
• Pay for training and/or studying time while at work or college (or at their training organisation)
• Any benefits and pay that other employees at a similar level/role are getting (this could include paid holiday, sick pay, and other benefits such as childcare voucher schemes)

Apprenticeship funding options

As an employer in England, the amount of funding you can get will depend on whether or not you pay the apprenticeship levy. You’ll be paying this if you have a wage bill of over £3 million each year.

If you don’t pay the apprenticeship levy

You’ll pay 10 per cent towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. Once you’ve agreed a payment schedule with the training provider or organisation, you’ll pay this directly to them.

The government will pay the remaining 90 per cent (or up to the funding band maximum) directly to the training organisation.

If you do pay the apprenticeship levy

For businesses paying the levy, funds are available for training and apprenticeship assessment. On top of these, the government will add 10 per cent.

Choose your apprenticeship framework

To obtain funding and manage your apprenticeship from start to finish, you need to find and use a framework (or ‘standard’) that’s right for your business and the type of apprentice you’d like to bring on board. Some are longer than others, and each carries its own funding band. Use https://findapprenticeshiptraining.sfa.bis.gov.uk/ to find the right framework for you.

Find a training organisation or provider

Once you’ve chosen your framework or standard, the next step is to make contact with an organisation or provider that offers the right kind of training. Use https://findapprenticeshiptraining.sfa.bis.gov.uk/ to find one.

Advertising an apprenticeship

Once you are all set with your training organisation you then need to advertise your apprenticeship vacancy. Your training organisation can get the ball rolling through https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch. If you know someone who would like to apply for the role directly, talk this through with your training provider.

Apprenticeship agreements

Next step is to enter into an apprenticeship agreement with your apprentice.The agreement should give details of what you’re agreeing to do for your apprentice, including the length of their employment with you, the training you’re going to give, their working conditions, and the qualifications they’ll be working towards.

Sign your commitment statement

Finally, you, your apprentice, and the training organisation will need to sign a commitment statement. This should include the content and schedule you plan for the training, what’s expected and offered by you (as the employer), the training organisation, and your apprentice.

Do I need to insure my apprentice?

Yes, your apprentice will be classed as an employee so you’ll need to have employer’s liability insurance in place. You’re legally required to have a cover level of least £5 million, and while there are some exceptions, this ruling applies to most employers.

How long does an apprenticeship last?

Apprenticeships in England must last for at least a year. They can go on for up to five years though, depending on the framework you’ve chosen.

Any assistance with drawing up an apprenticeship agreement, please get in touch with nicola.goodridge@goodhr.co.uk.