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Should I Hire an Apprentice?


Apprenticeships have been a point of particular interest for the government since early pushes to adopt them in the 2010s. They provide useful ways for businesses to benefit from low-cost labour, while creating an experienced and educated workforce for future years. But could your business benefit from one? We’ll discuss the ins and outs of apprenticeships, the benefits an apprentice can bring to your business, and exactly what you need to do to welcome an apprentice into your workforce.


What Is an Apprenticeship?


An apprenticeship is a government-funded program, an alternative to higher education which allows young people to gain real on-the-job experience in a vocation while receiving training, resulting in a certificate of apprenticeship and a promising future in the vocation of their choice. Such a scheme should help to create a valuable employee who understands their role and the importance of safety measures such as appropriate footwear. The position lasts anywhere between 1 and 6 years, with apprentices earning the minimum wage while they study and learn. Eighty per cent of an apprentice’s time is spent working for their company, with the remaining 20% given to training. Apprentices are for all intents and purposes employees, entitled to 28 days holiday including bank holidays.


Why Should I Hire an Apprentice?


Despite concerns from businesses that they do not have the time to review or train apprentices, many businesses have seen the benefits an apprentice can bring. So, what are they and how do they apply to your business?


Firstly, the government pays 95% of the training costs incurred by hiring an apprentice, making the onboarding process an inexpensive endeavour. The government also pay up to £4000, including incentive payments, for the offering of apprenticeships in your business – and with apprentices earning the minimum wage, your wage-profit turnover is not greatly affected.


Where it might seem like training up an unskilled apprentice in your field would be time-consuming and detrimental to business, 1 of 5 days in the week is given to training, conducted by an external training providerlargely paid for by the government. Apprentices are there out of genuine interest in, and aptitude for, your business’ field – making them an excellent choice for the bottom rung of the career ladder. And, after the apprenticeship has ended, your apprentice may well be valuable enough to keep on your workforce.


How do I Hire an Apprentice?


Firstly, you need to decide what kind of apprentice your business would benefit from having. Once you have done this, reach out to an apprentice training provider in that field, and discuss the needs of your business with them. With a training provider on board, it is now time to create a profile on the government’s apprenticeshipportal. This profile will give you access to funding and resources, as well as the ability to create openings – for which you can advertise externally.


Once you have received applications, the hiring process is just like any other job. Select your most favouredapplicant and bring them onto your team. From now on, the apprentice is your responsibility – and as such, it is your responsibility to source the resources they may need to work for you. You can use the government’s incentive funding to pay for this, which may include: the installation of a new workstation; the purchasing of additional equipment or uniforms; or the preparation of a training area.

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