Employing an apprentice for the first time
Employing an apprentice is easy but often seems confusing.
Here at Weston College we aim to make the process as simple as possible. With our apprenticeship programmes you could grow your business through investment in your current staff or employing new apprentices.
We offer the most diverse range of apprenticeships and training in the region, and as a result we have experience working with all types of companies to help them recruit apprentices.
Here’s how we’ll help you employ your first apprentice
- We’ll meet you to discuss your business needs. At an initial meeting we’ll work with you to identify the skills gaps in your company and answer your questions about apprenticeships.
- We’ll help you plan your approach. We will work with you to draw up a bespoke training plan which takes into account the skills needs identified in your initial meeting. This could be an internal training plan for your current staff or the recruitment of new staff.
- We’ll look into the funding options for you. Our business team will advise you about the available funding options for the agreed business plan. We’ll help you maximise your return on investment and make the most of the apprenticeship levy.
- We’ll start the recruitment process. If your business plan requires new staff in apprenticeship roles we’ll provide a free recruitment service for your business. On average, this will save you around £2,000. If your business plan doesn’t require new staff, we’ll help you to implement a staff development programme.
- We’ll help you select your new staff. You’ll get to interview the candidates and select the right people for your business. We’ll contact the interviewees, inform them of the outcome, and talk the successful candidates through the enrolment process.
- We’ll work with you to create a bespoke training plan. Our bespoke and personalised apprenticeship programmes will enable you to teach your apprentice the skills that your business needs.
- We’ll continue to support you and your apprentices. Your apprentices will receive regular visits from their assessor and you’ll receive ongoing support through your dedicated account manager.
Frequently asked questions
How much are apprentices paid?
Apprentices aged 18 and under can be paid the apprentice minimum wage (£3.50 an hour as of May 2017). Apprentices 19 and over can be paid the apprentice minimum wage for the first year of their apprenticeship, before moving up to the national minimum wage for their age group.
Apprentices need to be paid for the time they spend working in your business as well as the time they spend being trained off-the-job.
How often will they attend college?
This depends on the apprenticeship that is being undertaken. Our flexible approach to apprenticeship delivery means that we’re able to offer you a number of options when it comes to training your apprentice. This includes day release (the apprentice visiting the college for one or more days per week), block release (the apprentice visiting the College for a number of weeks per year) and location based training in which our assessors will visit your business to deliver the required training.
20% of your apprentice’s qualification is made up of off-the-job training, plus time to study additional elements such as English and maths functional skills.
Do I have to train the apprentice?
An apprenticeship is best described as a three way training partnership between your business, the College and the apprentice. Depending on the apprenticeship you choose the training programme will be delivered in different ways, but your input into the apprentice’s development will be key and we would suggest that your business identifies a mentor or member of staff to work with your apprentice - especially if they are new to your company.
As your apprentice becomes familiar with your business they’ll gain confidence and independence.
What sort of work will they be able to do?
This depends on the apprenticeship programme that you choose and the apprenticeship level. Our team will talk you and your apprentice through the work that they are expected to do and support them to meet your business needs as well as fulfilling their apprenticeship training.
Part of the development of your apprentice is to focus on the wider skills that will benefit your business and their employability, including teamwork, communication and professional behaviour.
What if it doesn’t work out?
We’ll offer you full support throughout the apprenticeship programme and work with you in the unlikely event that any issues arise. 90% of our apprentices are offered permanent positions by companies at the end of their apprenticeship.
How are apprentices assessed?
Most apprentices are required to take and pass an end point assessment in order to complete their apprenticeship. Your business will be part of the decision making process when it comes to deciding when your apprentice is ready to be assessed.
All apprentices are required to have English and maths skills at Level 1 or above, and we will work with them to achieve these qualifications if they don’t already have them.
Apprentices are only able to progress onto the end point assessment when all other elements of their apprenticeship, including English and maths if applicable, are completed.