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How to hire an apprentice

How to hire an apprentice
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How to hire an apprentice
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Earlier this month Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced an extension to the UK government’s apprenticeship incentive and Kickstarter schemes. This may come as welcome news because, as the world reopens, vacancies are higher than ever and you may now be considering ways to bolster your workforce to cope with a welcome, post-Covid increase in demand.

There are many benefits to hiring an apprentice — which reach far further than just meeting your immediate business needs. Here, we discuss what the process involves, what to expect and what to consider when hiring an apprentice.

All you need to know about apprenticeships

The apprenticeship incentive has been extended from 30th September 2021 to 31st January 2022. As a result, all employers in England providing a job for an apprentice of any age are eligible for an incentive of £3,000. There is even an additional £1,000 available for apprentices aged 16 to 18 years old, or under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

There is also a wider range than ever of apprenticeship courses, so you should be able to find one that will teach skills that will meet your business’ needs! You can find a comprehensive list of all disciplines here.

Employers are expected to invest £11,000 into the apprentice’s studies, which is paid to the provider. In addition, they must pay the apprentice at least minimum wage (dependent on age) throughout their course. You can learn more about the full conditions and costs on the gov.uk website.

Apprenticeship benefits

In addition to these financial benefits, apprenticeship schemes offer an effective and efficient way to grow your team, allowing you to build a dedicated and skilled workforce.

In a report from the National Apprenticeship Service, it is said that 96% of employers with apprentices have experienced at least one benefit from taking on apprentices, and most can count at least 8 benefits. Here are some, listed below:

  • Revitalise your team: by offering experienced employees the chance to be involved in training allows valuable knowledge to be passed on.
  • Improve team morale: 73% of employers say that staff morale is improved by having apprentices.
  • Secure great new talent: by giving young people a chance you are open to gaining valuable new employees.
  • Increase loyalty and retention: 69% of employers say that employing apprentices improved staff retention.
  • Improve your business’ reputation and bottom line : 25% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from a business that employs apprentices.

Creating new job opportunities

During the Covid-19 pandemic, young people’s career choices were heavily impacted. In fact, the Office for National Statistics reported that the overall unemployment rate of young people increased by 2.3 percentage points to 14.4% between Quarter 1 and Quarter 4 2020. This contrasts with a small increase of 0.4 percentage points to 11.3% over the same period in 2019. 

By offering apprenticeships within your business, you can provide security and progression for the younger generation — which is more important than ever after the negative impact of Covid-19 on this age group.

Is apprenticeship the right thing for you?

If you’re interested in bringing an apprentice on board with your business, first consider the following:

  1. Identify where you need resource within your business

Consider which team members are most stretched when it comes to their responsibilities.  Identifying who would be the line manager for the apprentice is vital, as it is very important to make sure the right level of attention can be given to the apprentice.

       2. Create a job spec and identify which apprenticeship course would fit this role

Consider your business’ input to the apprentice’s learning and what you can provide them. It is also useful to see where you may benefit in refreshing or diversifying the skills set in your current team.

       3. Find a provider

Sourcing the right apprenticeship provider is crucial to the smooth running of your apprenticeship scheme. Do your due diligence — find a provider with a great reputation and, if you can, get recommendations before speaking with a provider. For businesses brand new to apprenticeships, there are broker services who can help and support employers throughout this process. It is also important to note different providers specialise in different industries, so try to pinpoint the best within your industry.

       4. Hire and enrol

You will have to register with the government portal to manage the paperwork and funding.

Your provider should guide you through the process of enrolling in the government scheme. They can also support with hiring your apprentice if you have not had any success independently. When considering candidates be sure to confirm they meet the minimum criteria.

       5. Complete all paperwork and preparation for the apprentice ahead of the start date

Check with your provider all necessary paperwork is complete. The apprentice will need study time booked out in their diary, and there will be various (usually virtual) meetings with the provider for both the apprentice and their line manager.

If you think an apprentice could be the answer to your business’ needs, we hope this guide has encouraged you to take the leap! The process can seem complicated and laborious at first, but the benefits far outweigh the tasks for your bolstering the resources of a business. Once you have done it once, you are well set up for the subsequent hires!

To find out how Capital Space could benefit your growing business,
call 0800 107 4667 or email info@capitalspace.co.uk