employ an apprentice

How do I employ an apprentice?

Many UK businesses find that recruitment is one of their biggest challenges, with many employers claiming that the skills gaps is their biggest barrier to growth. Employing an apprentice is an affordable way to recruit and can be a smart way to fill a skills gap within your business.

This guide explains step-by-step how you can hire an apprentice and the benefits they can bring to your business.

An apprentice is right for your business if:

  • You have a specific skills gap that you need to fill
  • You are open to fresh ideas and new talent
  • You want to improve productivity within your business
  • You don’t have the funds to recruit someone more experienced
  • You want to employ someone who is likely to stay with you long after the training and grow with your business

How to find an apprentice

Once you have identified that hiring an apprentice is right for your organisation, you have two options, you can either contact NTG Training and discuss your vacancy requirements with us and we will advertise for an apprentice, FREE OF CHARGE, on your behalf.  We will also shortlist a number of candidates for you to consider and help you select which one is the right fit for your business.

Alternatively, you can log on to GOV.UK and advertise your vacancy there, but you are likely to get a lot of applications which can be difficult to manage.  NTG Training does all that for you.

Apprentice job description

NTG Training can help to create a job description for your new apprentice. This will include details on the kind of person you are looking for to ensure they are the right cultural fit for your organisation, as well as desired knowledge, experience and skills.

After a consultation with you, we will help to outline the main duties the apprentice will be undertaking and the purpose of their role.

Apprenticeship training costs

Employers fall into one of two groups: levy payers and non-levy payers.

Employers with a pay bill of more than £3 million are required to pay the levy – whether they employ an apprentice or not.

The levy amount payable is calculated at 0.5% of your pay bill. All employers get a £15,000 allowance to offset against the amount they have to pay.

For non-levy payers (those with a pay bill of less than £3million), you will contribute 5% towards the cost of the required apprenticeship and the government will pay the remaining 95%.

Interviewing your apprentice candidates

We recommend you interview at least 3 potential apprentices to give you the opportunity to compare skill sets, experience and personality.  You should prepare a list of standard questions to ensure each candidate is interviewed fairly. You can also carry out competency tests to assess their numeracy and literary skills.

Paying an apprentice

The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £3.90 per hour from 1 April 2019 for apprentices aged under 19, or aged 19 or over but in the first year of their apprenticeship. All other apprentices should be paid the rate of NMW applicable to their age. To do this, you must draw up an apprenticeship agreement signed by both parties – otherwise you will not be able to pay the apprentice rate of pay and will have to pay the National Minimum Wage applicable to the apprentice’s age.

Contract of employment

All apprentices will require a contract of employment. The contract should include:

  • How long the apprenticeship will be for
  • What training you’ll provide
  • Their working conditions
  • The qualifications they are working towards
  • What happens after they have completed the apprenticeship training

Getting the most out of your apprentice

Make sure you are clear about what is expected of them and the job role they need to fulfil. Establish an in-house training plan with your apprenticeship training provider so that they can dedicate enough time to the training, as well as use the time to apply their newly learnt skills to their job.  Agree goals and performance indicators in advance and schedule regular catch up meetings to discuss their progress.

Employer responsibilities

There must be a genuine job available with a contract of employment long enough for an apprentice to complete their apprenticeship. Employers must pay an apprentice’s wages and the role must help them gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to achieve their apprenticeship. Ensure that your apprentice spends at least 20% of their time on off-the-job- training. Be involved in the Assessor visits/progress reviews and target setting and support the Apprentice through their qualification.

Apprenticeship training available

NTG offer a wide range of training courses including:

  • Customer service practitioners
  • Digital marketing
  • Business Administrator
  • Team Leader/Supervisor
  • Textile Care
  • Business Improvement
  • Learning and Development
  • Performance Manufacturing
  • Warehouse Operative

Visit our course page to find out more. Each course has different levels of apprenticeship, each with their own qualification level and individual entry requirements.

What happens after the training?

Many apprenticeships lead to permanent positions – however, there is no obligation on either the employer or the apprentice to continue the working relationship.

This means that the employer does not have to offer the apprentice a permanent job and, if one is offered, the apprentice does not have to accept it.

If you would like more information on recruiting an apprentice for your business, get in touch with us today and we will help guide you through the process.

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The ULTIMATE Apprenticeship Levy Guide

The Apprenticeship Levy Guide for HR professionals L&D Directors

This guide has been designed to help navigate the apprenticeship levy and find out how best to maximise these funds to benefit your staff and the wider organisation.

Download here >>