What is an Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a working role that combines employment with studying, providing those taking part with real industry skills ,knowledge and qualifications.
For employers, apprenticeships are an ideal way to make sure the skills being developed are the ones needed for their specific business.
Apprentices can be new or current employees, as long as they are aged 16 or above. They can also be part-time employees.
An apprenticeship can last from one to four years depending on the role and they must also spend at least 20% of their time in ‘off-the-job’ training. Assessments and support are provided as part of the apprenticeship.
In most cases 95% of training costs are met by the Government. This can equate to a Government investment of up to £25,650 per apprentice for some higher level roles.
Benefits to your Organisation
Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way for any organisation to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
Employers who have an established apprenticeship programme said productivity in their workplace had improved by 76%, and 75% reported that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service.
Other benefits that apprenticeships contribute to your organisation include:
- 90% of apprentices stay on in their place of work after completing an apprenticeship.
- There’s a wide selection of apprenticeships available, covering lots of different job roles within an organisation.
- You can adapt the training your apprentice receives according to the needs of your organisation.
- An apprenticeship allows you to diversify and freshen up your workforce.
- You can employ an apprentice who’s 16 up to any age and from any background.
- Apprenticeships can increase employee satisfaction, reduce staff turnover and reduce recruitment costs.
How to Hire an Apprentice
When you’re ready to hire an apprentice there are a few key steps you need to take.
- Choosing apprenticeship training to suit an identified job role(s)
- Finding and selecting an organisation that offers training for that apprenticeship
- Checking what funding is available to cover training costs
- Advertising your apprenticeship (your training organisation can do this for you free of charge)
- Selecting your apprentice
Once you are certain you want to hire an apprentice, or train existing members of your workforce, contact the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Skills Hub. They can guide you through each of these steps at no cost to you.
Finding the right apprenticeship
New Apprenticeship Standards are being developed, approved and added all the time. Keep a lookout for new apprenticeships and make sure that you find the right apprenticeship to meet your organisational needs.
You can search for an apprenticeship on the government’s national website, or you can check the list of local training providers in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
When you’re looking for an apprenticeship, try to:
- Speak to more than one training provider to discuss what they can offer you and at what price
- Select the right training for your organisation which delivers what you need
- Identify someone within your organisation who will mentor your apprentice and meet with your training provider to discuss their progress and training plan.
It is up to the training provider and employer to decide how the training is delivered. It may include regular day release, block release, on-site training delivery and online learning.
Choosing a training provider
You will need to choose a training provider to train your apprentice. You can have more than one training provider if you have more than one apprentice.
This national online tool will help you search for a provider by location, job role or keyword. There is also a list of local providers in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Your training provider can provide you with as much help and support as you need when you take on an apprentice.
Your training provider will also be able to help with:
- Finding the right apprenticeship for you
- Preparing your apprentice for your organisation
- Making sure your apprentice is working in the appropriate environment
- Finding the right pace of learning for your apprentice
- Working with you to make sure your apprentice is learning relevant skills, knowledge and behaviours
Your responsibilities as an employer
There must be a genuine job available with a contract of employment long enough (one year minimum) for an apprentice to complete their apprenticeship.
You need to pay the apprentice a salary that doesn’t go below the minimum wage.
Your apprentice should:
- Work with experienced staff
- Learn job-specific skills
- Study whilst doing their apprenticeship
The employer must support the apprentice to gain the knowledge and skills they need to gain their apprenticeship.
How much does it cost?
How the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Skills Hub can help
The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Skills Hub helps businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly find the skills they need.
They can help you with a skills audit of your business to identify the right apprenticeship for you. And they can help find the right training provider to deliver your apprenticeship.
Once you have decided that you want to take on an apprentice or train an existing member(s) of your workforce you can contact the Skills Hub for free advice and support.
They can also help with the paperwork to make sure everything is done correctly.
The Skills Hub aims to improve economic activity in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly by developing the skills of the workforce. That includes boosting the number of apprenticeship starts and the number of higher-level apprenticeships.
There is a range of information available for employers who want to find out more about apprenticeships:
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Skills Hub: Once you are ready to explore taking on an apprentice, contact the Skills Hub team for support to make it happen.
Employer Toolkit: This toolkit will provide you with all the information you need to recruit, finance, train and develop apprentices in your business in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly.
Employer Guide to Apprenticeships: This is a helpful summary and mythbusting guide aimed at employers, from the National Apprenticeship Service. There is also advice on how businesses can achieve the benefits of apprenticeships and a guide to supporting young apprentices.
Inspiring Young People
Inspiring the next generation to seek employment opportunities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is crucial in making sure there is a strong pipeline of talent that businesses will need in the future.
The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Careers Hub exists to link volunteers from the local business community, with schools and colleges, helping to bridge the gap between education and employment.
The Careers Hub is always on the look-out for businesses, innovators and industry experts to work with them and local secondary schools to help make this happen.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a working role that combines employment with studying, providing those taking part with real industry skills, knowledge and qualifications.
What’s the age limit for an apprentice?
Apprentices must be aged 16 or over, but there is no upper limit.
Can I use apprenticeships to train existing staff?
Yes. If you need to upskill or reskill current employees then an apprenticeship could be an ideal way to do it.
How much does it cost?
Provided your wage costs do not exceed £3 million per year you only pay 5% of the training and assessment costs for apprentices who started after April 1st 2019. The government pays the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum. There is extra support available for smaller businesses and when employing younger apprentices.
If you would like to help inspire the next generation in Cornwall and Scilly, please contact the Careers Hub about how to get involved.