It is the time of year that many Employers consider hiring Apprentices, we ask, is it time that you hired an Apprentice?
It may or may not be that you have considered hiring an Apprentice, it may be that you do not know that much about them, how to set up an account perhaps, or the costs and grants that are associated, in fact understanding the hiring of an Apprentice can be uncharted waters until you dive in.
In our latest news, we will hopefully answer some of your questions and provide you with a clear understanding of what an Apprentice is, who can become one, you may be surprised, and how you can become registered as an Employer and set up really easily, what documents you need and of course the benefits of hiring Apprentices.
Who can become an Apprentice?
You may find this surprising, and this is why we start with this, most people have a misconception that Apprenticeships are for the younger generation – that is a myth, let’s take a more in-depth look:
To start an apprenticeship, your Apprentice will need to be:
- Just aged 16, or over (there is no upper limit)
- Living in England (variables apply for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland)
- Not in full-time education
When completing an Apprenticeship, it combines practical training in a job along with study, your Apprentice will be an Employee earning a wage and entitled to holiday pay and other statutory payments such as SSP, work alongside experienced fellow Employees, gaining job-specific skills, your Apprentice should be allowed the time for training and study related to the role, this must be at least 20% of their normal working hours, your Apprentice must work at least 30 hours each week.
You can take on an Apprentice at any time of the year it does not need to be term time only, with so many providers out there the choice of options is endless.
All Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level, Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels, below are the Levels of Apprenticeship:
Level Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 GCSE
Advanced 3 A level
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree
Some apprenticeships may also provide your Apprentice with an additional qualification, such as a diploma.
Is there a lot of training involved?
As an Employer you do need to be committed to your Apprentice, this means affording your Apprentice, at least 20% of their normal working hours on training; it is worth noting that this training might happen every week, every month or in a separate block of time.
Your Apprentices training might take place:
- At your workplace
- Somewhere else like at the college or the training providers location
- Online (if an online course or coursework is online)
Your Apprentice will be provided with a detailed summary of when and where all of the training will be; as an Employer you have a duty to ensure the time is afforded to your Apprentice during the course.
How much do I need to pay my Apprentice?
As an Employer you are legally obliged to comply with legislation namely, the employment rights Act 1996, you must pay your Apprentice the correct amount and ensure that you update and make any increases in line with statutory increases each year, and or their age, Apprentices are entitled to:
- Be paid for the hours they work (including study) and be entitled to the National Minimum Wage
- Have the time for training or study as part of any Apprenticeship
- Be entitled to holiday pay and other employee rights
The current rates are based on ages, these are current from April 2022, as below:
- Aged 16 to 18
The current National Minimum Wage rate of an apprentice is £4.81 per hour.
- Aged 19 or over and in the first year of an Apprenticeship
The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is £4.81 per hour
- Aged 19 or over and have completed the first year of an Apprenticeships
The current entitlement is the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for their age.
These are the statutory rates (current as of April 2022), as an Employer, you may wish to pay a higher rate (you cannot pay lower), the rate of pay should be added to the Apprenticeship Agreement.
Does my Apprentice need an Employment Contract?
Contrary to popular belief, whilst they do have the same employment rights as an Employee, they are not an Employee at this stage, as such they should have an Apprentice Agreement in place, this is different from an Employment Contract.
An Apprenticeship Agreement should be well expertly written and contain the relevant clauses that your Apprentice needs during the course. We can draft these for your Apprentice/s.
Am I required to do anything else?
As an Employer you need to ensure that your Apprentice is treated slightly different than your Employees, it is therefore crucial that the following is in place;
- An appropriate Employee is nominated as a mentor for the Apprentice
- A training plan is in place to ensure expectations are understood and achieved (your training provider can help with this)
- The Apprenticeship Agreement outlines clear performance indicators/expectations
You will also need to set up your apprenticeship service account, you can do this very easily, we can provide you with assistance, similarly, your training provider will be able to guide you through the process.
Are there benefits to hiring an Apprentice?
As an Employer you should find many benefits for hiring an Apprentice, these can manifest in so many ways, from new skills, skill shortages, driving innovation, training of others, enhancement in productivity, and increased profits; not forgetting Apprentices can be especially cost-effective to recruit.
In addition to the lower hourly rate, some smaller companies may be able to benefit from an Apprentice Grant, this could be up to 95% of the course fees, subject to certain terms and conditions.
How can we help you?
Should you need further advice and guidance in relation to Apprentices, the hiring of them, the setup, or management of them once you have recruited one then we are here to assist you. We are also on hand with the expert writing of the Apprenticeship Agreement and associated documents you will need, do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team who are ready to help, you can contact a member of our team on 0333 006 9489 or [email protected]
This article contains a general overview of information only. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon, as legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.
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