You’d be hard pushed not to hear anything about apprenticeships in the news these days. The government in particular is setting some large targets. This section helps you understand what it’s all about and if it’s right for your business.
What is an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships is the name given to the nature of the employment relationship between you and a particular type of worker – an apprentice. An apprentice studies for a work based qualification whilst in your employment. The different levels of apprenticeships available are:
This is an intermediate level apprenticeship; it is equivalent to 5 A* – C at GCSE
This is an advanced level apprenticeship and is the equivalent to two A Levels
This is the higher level apprenticeship and will be equivalent to degree level qualifications
What is the benefit of an apprentice?
Almost 9 in 10 of every employer that takes on an apprentice report benefits to their business
70% reported that apprenticeships improved their productivity or the quality of their product or service
The minimum age for an apprentice is 16 but there’s no upper age limit. The reality is though they are more likely to be at the younger end of the scale.
What do apprenticeship programmes look like?
The main elements of an apprenticeship programme is the training, this is often managed by a training provider. Mentoring and coaching is often another key element of the apprenticeship.
The number of hours will vary depending on the nature of the skills the apprentice is developing. Some more practical orientated skills require more on the job training than traditional classroom based training. Therefore they are training while doing.
Employers need to be highly involved in helping to develop and design the training required, including any mentoring, coaching and supervising on the job training.
A successful apprenticeship programme is based on the relationships between all parties involved and one where the employer has a genuine desire to invest in the development of their apprentice.
How much will an apprenticeship cost me?
Apprentices are governed by standard employment legislation which means you must abide by the legislation around national minimum wage for hours worked. The minimum number of hours an apprentice can work a week is 16, however on average they usually work for 30.
Paid hours of work include time spent at college or in training as well as actual working hours. They are also entitled to all the paid benefits under the UK employment legislation.
The Skills Funding Agency provide apprenticeship grants up to a value of £1,500 per apprentice for apprentices between 16 and 24 years old. To be eligible for the grant you must have less than 50 employees. You can claim up to 5 grants.
You can also apply to the government for funding to cover the cost of your training. The government will send the funds direct to the training provider rather than to you.