How to hire an apprentice in 2021 – How-to Guide
As an employer, one of the best ways to inject fresh perspectives, bridge skills gaps and motivate your workforce is to hire an apprentice. For many, the barrier for hiring an apprentice is the process, which many perceive to be time-consuming, confusing or expensive.
At the Apprenticeship Hub, we want to make the process as accessible, easy to understand and to offer support in any way we can. So we decided what better way to clear up some of the confusion around hiring an apprentice in 2021, than to create a comprehensive how-to guide.
It is worth mentioning right off-the-bat, that the Apprenticeship Hub are available to support or guide with any of the steps mentioned in this guide, by simply contacting a member of the team using our live chat or by email: email@example.com.
Hiring your apprentice
1. Identify your skills gaps
Identifying skills gaps within your organisation could be the reason you have decided on hiring an apprentice in the first place. For many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to uncover certain areas where your business could benefit from new or greater skills. This could be your IT systems, your marketing, you may be stretched in administration or financial operations or have a need for more hands on the shop or warehouse floor for example. This will obviously depend on the sector or industry your organisation is a part of, but the chances are with over 1,500 different job roles and covering 170 industries, there will be an apprenticeship for your business.
2. Choose a relevant apprenticeship
This leads us directly onto the next step – Choosing the apprenticeship. Upon identifying your skills gaps, take a look over on the Institute for Apprenticeships website, which lists every possible apprenticeship standard available in the UK. You can search using keywords related to the job role you would like to create as well as various other filters shown below and you will be shown the available options for apprenticeships relevant to that role.
3. Find a training provider
Once you have an apprenticeship standard or several options in mind, it’s time to decide on the training provider you would like to deliver the apprenticeship. The training provider will have a series of coaches who will teach and support your apprentice to learn all the necessary skills to complete their apprenticeship and get them qualified, so this is a particularly important step. It is therefore, well worth speaking to a member of the Apprenticeship Hub team, who have relationships with all local training providers and will be able to give you impartial advice on which is likely to offer the best delivery of your chosen standard.
A list of the training providers delivering your chosen apprenticeship standard can be found on the gov.uk website by simply using the filters shown below as well as typing in the location of your organisation. You will also be able to see their star rating according to other employers’ experiences and the pass rate of apprentices on that standard.
4. Check different funding options as well as current incentives
The costs associated with hiring an apprentice are one of the main barriers that many businesses will attribute to deciding to not hire an apprentice. However, in 2021 it has never been more affordable to recruit an apprentice, due to the huge number of funding options and government incentives.
Here is a table of the available incentives for UK employers of all different sizes and sectors:
As you can see, for small and large employers there are definite options for making apprenticeships a low-cost strategy. For SME’s particularly, the costs of training can be eliminated almost entirely with incentives and schemes such as our very own Transfer to Transform.
But of course we must be transparent and say that none of these grants or incentives will cover the cost of paying the wages of the apprentice, and this is a must with an apprentice, with the minimum wage being £4.30 p/h for under 18’s and £8.91 p/h for apprentices aged 18 and over (as of September 2021). So you must take into consideration paying a new member of staff’s wages, but we firmly believe that the benefits you will reap, will more than cover this in the long term.
5. Advertise your apprenticeship
Now of course, you want your potential apprentice to be able to find the vacancy! The apprenticeship must first be placed on the Find an Apprenticeship website, which is where all apprenticeship vacancies from across the UK can be found. You or your chosen training provider can do this. Then, if you wish, share the vacancy across your company social media, LinkedIn Jobs, Indeed or anywhere else jobs opportunities can be shared. The Apprenticeship Hub shares a weekly list of all the new apprenticeship vacancies from North Hampshire & Surrey as well as the Solent region.
6. Interviews and selection of your apprentice
Soon after sharing your apprenticeship opportunity online, you will begin to receive applications similarly to how you would any other job advert, or alternatively, your Training Provider may have a number of suitable candidates for which they will pass you over any CV’s or other applications. Remember whilst holding interviews, particularly for apprenticeship levels 1-4, that potential candidates won’t necessarily have the work experience or industry knowledge that you might hope for in a regular job interview. Instead, try looking for qualities from that individual: confidence, passion, enthusiasm, willingness to learn are all great qualities, as this will help to indicate if this is a person that you will be able to mould and train to become an ideal employee that will fit within your company culture.
7. Creating an apprenticeship agreement and commitment statement
So you have got through the process, you’ve chosen your ideal candidate, and you’re ready to get them started. Before this, you must make what is called an apprenticeship agreement.
This simply gives details of:
– The skill, trade or occupation the apprentice is being trained for
– The name of the apprenticeship they’re working towards
– The start and expected end dates for the apprenticeship
– The amount of training you will give them
Apprenticeship agreements can either be written by yourselves or if you would prefer, they are freely downloaded on the gov.uk website.
The commitment statement is the second part of this, and must include:
– The planned content and schedule for training
– What is expected and offered by the employer, the training provider and the apprentice
– How to resolve any queries or complaints
Again, this can be written by you, the employer or alternatively downloaded for free on the gov.uk website. This must be signed by yourselves, the apprentice and the training provider also.
Just like that, you’re ready to go! Hiring an apprentice in 2021 is a simple process and can be made even simpler by chatting to a member of the Apprenticeship Hub team. We cover North Hampshire & Surrey and the Solent region. If you wish to speak to a member of the team and want to find out who your local adviser is, head over to our Meet the Team page or contact us through our live chat box or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.