How to Find and Hire an Apprentice

If you’re thinking of taking on an apprentice, the hiring process is slightly different to taking on a traditional employee. Recruitment can be a huge challenge to any business and finding the perfect candidate is imperative to a successful apprenticeship project within your company. 

On this page, we’ll explain how to find the perfect apprentice. Then we’ll take you through the process of interviewing an apprentice and ultimately hiring an apprentice. We’ll break down the confusion around how much to pay an apprentice and simplify the task of drawing up an apprenticeship contract. 

Have a question that wasn’t covered in this guide? Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information:

Finding An Apprentice For Your Business

Find an apprentice for your business and discover just how cost-effective it is to recruit and train skilled employees for the future, as well as provide the skills you need to help your business grow.

NTG Training will work with you to help find the right apprentice for free and then provide high-quality, flexible apprenticeship training tailored to meet the needs of your business and to fill any skills gap within your team.

With significant government funding available for smaller businesses and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy for larger businesses, apprenticeship training is a cost-effective way to hire new talent with the skills your business needs.

If you are interested in hiring an apprentice for your organisation, please get in touch with us.  We work closely with employers to find apprentices that match the skills and needs of your business.

Tips for Finding an Apprentice

As we’ve mentioned above, if you choose to work with NTG Training to find an apprentice, we’ll do all the hard work for you! However, if you’re interested in a few of our tips and techniques that we’ve been using to find apprentices, you can find some helpful advice below.

Get In Front Of Your Ideal Market

Where is your ideal candidate already looking?
If you want someone who's passionate about the industry, ask industry publications, groups and social channels to share your apprenticeship vacancy.

Create an Engaging Job Description

Show that you're an exceptional employer
Why not even consider making a short video about what it's like to work as an apprentice at your company?

Craft the Perfect Interview Questions

Ask the right questions to find the right person
An apprenticeship interview isn't like a normal interview, you're trying to assess potential, not prior skills, so craft your questions accordingly.

Interview a Range of Candidates

Take a chance on someone you normally wouldn't
Here at NTG we always recommend you interview a minimum of three candidates. You might be pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm someone shows in the interview.

Why Choose an Apprentice?

Why not just hire a new employee? Well, there are actually multiple benefits to choosing an apprentice.

Apprentices are a great choice if your business:

  • Has a skills gap.
  • Needs affordable staffing during a growth period.
  • Needs an injection of new ideas and fresh talent.
  • Has a role that requires close mentorship.
  • Wants to invest in loyal staff who are less likely to leave the business.

Don’t forget, apprenticeships are also an ideal choice if you’re looking to upskill or retrain your current staff. It’s often a much more cost-effective method for staff training.

How Much Will It Cost to Train An Apprentice?

Employers will fall into one of two groups. Those who have a payroll bill of over £3 million will be Apprenticeship Levy Payers and will need to fund apprenticeships from their levy pot. We have a complete guide to the Apprenticeships Levy here.

If your business does not pay the levy, then generally the government will fund 95% of the cost of apprenticeship training. 

If your business has less than 50 employees and you hire an apprentice aged 16-18, the government will cover the total cost of the training.

There are always grants and other financial incentives available, so be sure to keep up to date with the news on our blog.

How To Pay an Apprentice

Apprentices need to be paid the National Minimum Wage for apprentices. This changes every year, but currently the rate is (From 1 April 2020 – March 2021):

£4.15/hr

This rate applies to any apprentices under 19 years old.

If your apprentice is over 19 years old, you can only pay them the National Minimum Apprentice Wage for the first year of their apprenticeship.

After this, you’ll need to pay them the minimum wage for their age.

You can pay your apprentice anything over the minimum wage, and we actually recommend considering the benefits of paying your apprentice over the minimum wage. It’s also a great idea to offer a yearly pay review as your apprentice becomes more experienced.

What Should I Include In An Apprenticeship Contract?

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

How To Get 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.

What Responsibilities As An Employer Do I Have Towards My Apprentices?

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.

employer responsibilities
The End of The Apprenticeship

What Happens At The End Of An Apprenticeship?

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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