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Employer FAQs

It’s no secret that the government is pushing the idea that all businesses should be looking to train up the next generation of employees in the form of apprenticeships. You might be on the fence about taking that step forward into employing a young person whilst they train, or it might be that you are a supporter of the idea, yet have no idea where to start.

With the face of education training, as well as the business environment we all work within there has never been a better time to take on a young person to become an employee with all the skills and training that your business requires.

Many employers are rightly pointing out that graduates are applying for jobs with certificates but without the required skills that business need. Starting on the factory floor, so to speak, allows apprentices to understand the business from the ground up and to develop the skills that are required in your industry, and specifically in your business.

Not only that they will gain recognised qualifications giving your business the added value of fully qualified staff. Your staff are likely to be one of your biggest costs, and there is a period of time with any member of staff whilst they learn their way around that they bring very little to their job. By taking on an apprentice you in effect mould your own team member whilst they learn.

Yes, you have to pay apprentices a minimum of £3.40 an hour unless they are over 19 after their first year, but the value of apprentices can be shown by the number of companies advertising apprenticeships with wages far above the minimum. Once they have undertaken their initial training you have skilled and qualified staff.

Age and level of study

Minimum Wage



19 or over and in their first year of their apprenticeship


19 -20 and have completed their first year of their apprenticeship


21-24 and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship


25 and over and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship.


(Wages correct as of October 2016)

Depending on the size of your business and the age of the apprentice there may be grants available to assist you in taking on and training apprentices.

Many employers offer apprenticeships far in excess of these minimums to ensure they attract the highest quality candidates, however, you are not under any obligation to do so.

Check out a more in-depth discussion regarding the apprentice levy here, but in short, all companies with a wage bill over £3 million will have to invest in apprenticeships. However, you can use this money to train your own apprentices, giving you the next generation of skilled employees.

No, but after between a year and 4 years working in your company and being trained to do a specific role in your company, the investment in that individual means that in our experience 94% of apprentices stay on in the same company.

From the 1st of September 2015, all bids for government contracts worth more than £10 million must demonstrate a clear commitment to apprenticeships. In a time of confusion in regards to qualifications and skills that the variety of certificates a college student leaves with, an apprenticeship is a clear cut route to giving students the skills that your business needs.

This is a training role, so you have to be willing to give a young person the chance to learn and grow in their journey into a new career. However, if an apprentice is unsatisfactory in any area, including timekeeping, attendance at the formal aspects of study, not meeting the goals of assessment for the apprenticeship framework, or just not doing their job you can let them go. Just like with any employee you must go through appropriate channels to release them from their contract of employment, but you are far from stuck with them for years.

In today’s economy, we know that digital technology and business sectors are the leading growth areas for businesses nationwide. Our two main apprenticeships are:

1. Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

We know that most businesses underutilise the social media reach and digital marketing that could bring in new customers, expand the services that existing customers order from you, and put you more in with customers and their feedback. Companies are looking to grow their in-house digital marketing teams, and companies that specialise in digital marketing and social media marketing are becoming more established and growing rapidly, especially here in the middle of the Northern Powerhouse.

2. Business Administration

We all know that there is more to running a business than getting the product, or service, to the customer in a timely fashion and that there are a multitude of key processes and procedures that make your business run smoothly. Here is the key thing, the processes that make your business run smoothly are not the same as any other business. Bringing your training in-house by having apprentices learning on the job in your business gives you more than just qualified staff. You gain skilled staff, with the specific skills your business requires.

There are several steps you need to take when using a DIY approach:

1. Check the apprenticeships framework for an apprenticeship in your industry and at a suitable level for both your business and the apprentices you are looking to attract.

2. Find a training organisations (like ourselves) for your industry, we take care of training, qualifications, and assessment.

3. Apply for grants that you are eligible for, we can help you in this area.

4. Advertise your apprenticeship, again we can advertise the positions you are looking to fill.

5. Select your apprentice and come to an apprenticeship agreement with them to ensure that you both know what’s going to be expected of each party.

We take care of all the above so you can get on with your business.