Whatever the reason for hiring an apprentice – whether that’s to grow your team whilst keeping staff costs down or freeing up your existing workforce so they can do what they do best – there’s procedures every small business should follow when hiring.
An apprentice can be aged 16 or above and combine working with studying for a work-based qualification. This can be GCSE’s or equivalent up to degree level. Apprenticeships can last from 1 to 4 years, depending on the level of qualification the apprentice is studying for. Below we’ve compiled a check list of things you must do when taking on an apprentice.
- Find apprenticeship training through the HMRC website
There is a service offered through the HMRC website for employers wishing to take on apprentices and is your first port of call. You’ll find a whole host of options on there so take your time and study all of your options carefully.
2. Find a training organisation that offers apprenticeships for your industry
After searching and finding an apprentice training organisation they will handle your apprentice’s training, qualification and assessment. You are free to use an apprenticeship training agency if you want to employ an apprentice without taking on the responsibility for running the apprenticeship scheme yourself.
3. Check if you’re eligible for a grant and apply
If you are based in England, you can get a £1,500 apprenticeship grant if you have less than 50 employees and your apprentice is aged between 16 to 24. You can claim support for up to 5 apprentices. To check if you qualify and to apply, you can fill in an enquiry form here or alternatively you can contact the National Apprenticeship Service on 0344 815 5779. There is also funding available to cover the costs of your apprentice’s qualification if you are providing their formal study as well as being their employer. You can find more information about this on the HMRC website.
4. Advertise your apprenticeship
Your training organisation will do this for you once you have found a suitable apprentice for your company
5. Choose your apprentice, then make an apprenticeship agreement with them
Once you’ve found your apprentice, you must sign an apprenticeship agreement. This agreement will give details of what you agree to do for the apprentice, and will include details like how long the apprenticeship is for, the training you’ll give them, their working conditions and the qualifications they are working towards. You can either write your own apprentice agreement or download an apprenticeship agreement template.
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