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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
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