Q & A - Employer Guide

apprenticeship logo


Thousands of businesses across Britain have benefited from training an Apprentice. Apprenticeships are the ideal way to ensure you gain and retain skilled employees who have been trained the way that suits your business.

Apprenticeships can help businesses improve business performance in the following key areas:

  • Increase competitiveness
  • Higher productivity
  • Motivation of staff
  • Reduce costs
  • Relevant training
  • Avoid skills shortages

There are over 85,000 employers offering apprenticeships in more than 130,000 locations and there are more than 250 types of apprenticeships available. Easton & Otley College is committed to providing all apprentices with a consistently high level of support throughout their learning programme to help them achieve their full potential.

An apprenticeship is a programme of training delivered in partnership with the employer, apprentice and Easton & Otley College. During the apprenticeship the apprentice will receive quality hands-on experience, training and nationally recognised qualifications.

What does an Apprenticeship include?

A minimum of 30 hours per week paid employment. The duration will vary depending on you, the industry sector and the level of apprenticeship that you are undertaking. Generally your apprenticeship will be a 1-2 year programme.

An apprenticeship includes the following components:

  • A competence based element e.g. Workbased Diploma or NVQ Diploma
  • Employment rights and responsibilities (ERR)
  • Personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS)
  • A knowledge based element
  • Functional Skills
  • Additional qualifications

There are 3 different levels of apprenticeship available:

  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeship
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeship
  • Higher Level Apprenticeship

Why would I want to take on an Apprentice?

Research has shown that an employee on an Apprenticeship is more motivated and enthusiastic at work and tends to stay average two or three years after their completed course. Other benefits include:

  • Better trained employees who tend to be more confident and assertive
  • More appropriately trained employees can also be more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs
  • Apprenticeships deliver real returns to your bottom line, helping your business to improve productivity and to be more competitive
  • Apprentices tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. An apprentice is with you because they want to be - they have made an active choice to learn on the job and a commitment to a specific career

What evidence is there that hiring an Apprentice is good for my business?

Recent results of surveys of businesses throughout the UK on the benefits of hiring an apprentice found that:

  • 81% said that employing apprentices generated higher overall turnover productivity for their business
  • 66% said that their apprenticeship programme made them more competitive in their industry
  • 92% said that their apprenticeship programme motivated staff and increased job satisfaction
  • 74% said that apprentices tended to be more loyal, remaining at their company longer than non-apprentices

Who can do an Apprenticeship?

Anyone who is 16 or over providing they meet the minimum requirements. There is no upper age limit however government funding maybe limited for candidates aged 19 or over and an employer contribution maybe required.

How long does it take?

Each apprentice works to an Individual Learning Plan. In general terms he/she can expect it to take between 1 and 2 years to achieve a full apprenticeship.

How much does it cost?

An employer has to pay the apprentice at least national minimum wage and the apprentice has to work a minimum of 30 hours per week. Employers who employ an apprentice 19 years of age or older may have to contribute towards the cost of the training.

What type of Apprenticeships can we provide?

We specialise in providing apprenticeships in:

How does it work?

Apprentices can start at any time during the year, after attending an interview and undertaking an initial assessment. Each apprentice has a Work Based Assessor who visits them in the work place at least every 8 weeks. This is to carry out assessments, provide support to both apprentice and employer and ensure that the welfare/health and safety needs of the apprentice are being met.

What are my responsibilities as an employer?

You must give your apprentice an induction into their role and on-the-job training, and all apprentices will need to have a contract of employment within 13 weeks of joining. As with all employees you are responsible for the wages of your apprentice.

Do I have to give my Apprentice holiday?

Like most employees, apprentices must be given at least 20 days paid holiday per year as well as bank holidays.

Is there a limit to the number of Apprentices an employer can take on?

No, the employer can take on as many apprentices as they need.

How often do Apprentices attend college or training sessions?

Some of the training can be in the work place and other sessions could be in college or with a learning provider. Depending on the type of job being done, or the elements of training being undertaken, it could be one day a week or block release.

I have an employee keen to do an Apprenticeship; can I still take them on as an Apprentice?

Yes, as long as the job role is either a new one or the role has new skills that the employee needs training for.

Do Apprentices pay tax and national insurance?

As is the case for all employees aged over 16, apprentices must still pay tax and national insurance on their income.

Health and Safety

We encourage all apprentices to have a contract of employment with their employer to clarify their working conditions. It is essential that the employer has current Employers Liability Insurance cover.

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