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What is an apprenticeship?

Apprentices provide many benefits to your business. Investing in an apprenticeship is a cost effective way to grow your business and develop a skilled workforce with the government funding available to employers. More and more young people are also looking at apprenticeships as a way into work, rather than running up huge debt going to university. Instead they are choosing to work their way up the careers ladder, earning a wage whilst gaining a qualification “on the job”.

So, what is an apprenticeship and how do you go about recruiting an apprentice?

In a nutshell, an apprenticeship is not just a job – but a career path with the additional benefit of formalised and funded training. Apprenticeships are available to anyone aged 16 and over who is not in full-time education and is eligible to work in the UK.

Is an apprentice right for your business? Whilst an apprentice is a cost-effective recruitment solution, finding a cheap source of labour should definitely not be your only reason for taking on an apprentice.

Consider the following. Apprentices are:

  • contracted members of staff, in a salaried job role (rates start at just £3.70 an hour depending upon age of the apprentice)
  • entitled to the usual staff benefits including holidays, sick pay and pension
  • on a training programme (provided by an external  Training Provider or college) for a minimum of 12 months, depending on the level of the apprenticeship qualifications – some higher and degree apprenticeships are for 4 years duration
  • eligible for Government funds (see the section on Funding)
  • to receive on-the-job training within the workplace as well as off-the-job training. Off-the-job training includes college or training provider based days, projects, self study, mentoring and e-learning
  • not just external new recruits but an apprenticeship can be used to develop existing members of staff

bee flying towards honeycomb shapes containing wording for increased norale, goverment funding, tailored training, corporate image and staff retention.

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