In today’s world, employers have more options when it comes to how they attract new talent into their team, one way is through offering an apprenticeship. Many business influencers like the idea of giving someone at the start of their career a chance to grow and develop. If you are one of these business owners or manager’s, read on…
First things first, consider whether you have the time and resource to develop and train an Apprentice. An Apprentice, whether a school leaver or starting a new career path will need your time to help them develop and make the apprenticeship a success. Most apprenticeships require 20% of time to be spent ‘off the job learning’, this might be a mix of time at college and within the workplace. Be mindful that an employer is obliged to pay the Apprentice whilst they complete ‘off the job learning’, so consider whether your business can handle the 20% time reduction. Apprenticeships typically lasts 12- 15 months- in short this is a big commitment of time for any business but the rewards can be endless…
Next, establish whether your business is a levy payer or not. If your business has a pay bill over £3 million per year, you will already be paying the levy. If not, then you will need to pay 10% of the apprenticeship training costs and the Government will pay the remaining 90%. If you are a small business employing 49 or fewer and recruit an Apprentice under the age of 19, the Government will meet 100% of the apprenticeship costs. What might be good to know, especially if you need to sell the apprenticeship dream to your senior management team, is that if you take on an Apprentice aged between 16 – 18 years old, the business will be entitled to an additional £1,000 payment.
If you have access to in-house HR support, make use of their knowledge on the legal requirements for taking on an Apprentice and ensure you have everything in place from the outset. If you don’t have access to in-house HR support, we can certainly help with this aspect and have a proven track record in providing support to businesses looking to take on Apprentices for the first time.
Once you have decided whether you can commit to an apprenticeship and understand the costs and legalities involved, you need to choose an apprenticeship provider for the training delivery and assessment. Part of this choice will depend on the training you choose and which providers offer that particular apprenticeship. Once you have made this decision, it is worth building up a relationship with your chosen training provider from the outset as this will help ensure that the apprenticeship runs smoothly. Once you have chosen your training provider and agreed the costs and schedule of training, you can then embark on the exciting part of the process- starting the recruitment process to find an Apprentice to join your team! Once you have found an Apprentice to join your team, you will need to ensure you have an apprenticeship agreement and employment contract in place ready for the Apprentice to start.
Is it worth it all in the end? We certainly think so! Apprenticeships give businesses the opportunity to grow and develop their own talent and skills required within their business and are a tried and tested way of doing this. It is a cost effective way to hire and develop new talent with overwhelming evidence to suggest that apprenticeships provide a return on investment to a business- the National Apprenticeship Service have reported that 96% of businesses that employ an Apprentice have reported a benefit. Apprentice’s are often highly motivated as they have chosen to undertake a specific apprenticeship within an industry they are looking to develop a career in. Many Apprentices given the opportunity stay within the business and gradually progress through the business long after the apprenticeship has come to an end, becoming a valuable and knowledgeable member of the team!
Finally, apprenticeships give managers and business owners the chance to offer an opportunity to someone either starting out on their career journey or starting a new career path entirely long after completing school. This in itself can be a great boost to morale and job satisfaction!
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