Hiring an apprentice in the UK – where to start

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Written by: SafeWorkforce
11th April

The Benefits and the Pitfalls

Apprenticeships are an effective way of recruiting new staff whilst being able to train on the job. By employing apprentices, you are also making a business decision that will help benefit your existing team and its production. This could also benefit the company by leading to better retention of employees and an improved staff satisfaction.

Hiring apprentices can also mean addressing skill gaps or shortages you have in the workplace and can also help you gain a more diverse workforce which can help improve the quality of your service and/or products. This is because apprenticeships can be employed at various levels such as school leavers, university graduates, or people who want a career change. Apprentices don’t have to be school leavers.

Apprentices can also help you save on recruitment costs as once they are trained and have their qualification; you can retain them as existing employees by offering them a permanent position or a higher apprenticeship programme (where appropriate).

Whilst hiring an apprentice has many benefits, it also has some downsides. For example, you may have to pay for the apprentices training as well as their salary. Depending on their age, there may be certain limitations to what they can/can’t do, such as lone working, night working, having to take more regular breaks. Its also worth noting they have to spend at least 20% of their working time, studying or training. It can be incredibly worthwhile but there must be a commitment from the Company to develop the individual.

Another downside to hiring an apprentice may be that it is a lengthy process as you want to find the right candidate. You want to find someone who is going to fit your Company but also be willing to grow with the company and work at the pace you need to be a successful addition.

Top 5 Things to Remember

  1. They must be at least 16 years of age and out of full-time education
  2. They must be paid at least the minimum wage*
  3. They must work with experienced staff and learn job-specific skills
  4. They must get time for training or studying during their working week (at least 20% of their working time)
  5. The apprenticeship must last at least a year

Discover the process to hiring an apprentice near you

Hiring an apprentice in England

Hiring an apprentice in Scotland

Hiring an apprentice in Wales

If you have any queries on hiring an apprentice, please contact the Alcumus HR Consultancy team on 01484 439930 or [email protected].