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They ask we answer: Apprentices in your workplace.

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Bringing on an apprentice for the first time can be daunting. You’re tasked with taking a young person, introducing them to the workplace, and setting them up for future development.

However, as a business owner, it can also be an excellent opportunity to develop a loyal and skilled employee while also offering numerous other short-term benefits.

It’s National Apprenticeship Week, so you may consider hiring an apprentice yourself or have just been introduced to the idea that most small businesses will only pay 5% of all fees.

It’s natural to have some questions. Here are some common questions we’ve received about bringing on an apprentice and National Apprenticeship Week.

Q: Does my business qualify for apprenticeship funding?

A: Any business with a payroll under £3 million and under 50 people is entitled to almost 100% of their apprenticeship fees being paid by the government. If your payroll is over £3 million or you have more than 50 people on staff, you can still qualify for up to 95%.

Q: What is National Apprenticeship Week?

A: National Apprenticeship Week is a yearly celebration of apprentices in the workplace. Beginning the first week of February, it aims to boost awareness for employers and students alike. This year’s theme is Skills for Life, and it seeks to look at the long-term skills an apprenticeship can build.

Q: What challenges would an apprentice face?

A: An apprentice can face many challenges as it’s often their first time in the workplace. Anything from balancing work and personal life, fitting in with the office, and being overwhelmed can all cause an apprentice difficulty. It’s often a very stressful time, so it’s important to have processes in place to make them comfortable.

Q: How should I on-board an apprentice?

A: You can help your apprentice during their time at your company in many ways. For example, you can create an induction program or schedule regular well-being checks to ensure your apprentice is developing their skills and making progress.

Q: What are the benefits for my company to take on an apprentice?

A: It may be tempting to think of an apprenticeship as one-sided. However, bringing on an apprentice can have many benefits for your business. You can get some fresh eyes and a loyal employee, which can even boost your other employee’s productivity.

Q: Can I employ my apprentice?

A:  Absolutely. One of the biggest benefits of an apprenticeship system is retaining a highly trained employee. 71% of apprentices end up staying with their employer.

Q: I thought an apprentice was expensive?

A: An apprentice can actually be cheaper than recruiting a traditional employee. Since recruitment can cost £3000 on average, the government will cover your apprenticeship funding it can often be cheaper, especially since you’re paying apprenticeship wages.

Q: How do I make the most out of an apprenticeship?

A: Making the most of your apprentice is more than just giving them a role. To keep apprentices engaged, it’s important to have a structured review and progression process.

As we recently celebrated National Apprenticeship Week, you may want to introduce an apprentice to your business. However, it’s not always straightforward, and it can be confusing.

At HR:4UK, we have years of experience helping businesses like yours with their HR. We can introduce the policies and checks you need to maximise your apprentice’s time with you so that you can focus on your business.

For further information on apprenticeships see our recent newsletter article

If you’re looking for some further advice, please email us at [email protected] or call us on 01455 444222

Angela Clay

A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.

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