Hot to hire an apprentice

How to hire an apprentice

So you've identified an area of your business that would be right for an apprentice. How do you actually go about hiring one and benefit from the government training budget?

Before you start, it's worth understanding the initial basic apprentice criteria:

  • Apprentices must be aged 16 (or over) by the end of the summer holidays and not in full-time education. Only people who are out of full-time education can start one
  • Apprentices must combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job
  • Apprentices can be new or current employees
  • You can get government funding to cover some of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice if you're in England. The apprentice will need to be living in England if that's where the apprenticeship is based. Take a look at the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish apprenticeship websites for region-specific guidance.

You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2020 (current rate) £8.72 £8.20 £6.45 £4.55 £4.15

Your apprentice must:

  • work with your existing experienced staff
  • learn job-specific skills
  • study during their working week (for example, at a college or training organisation at least 20% of their time)

If you're able to meet these expectations then exploring ways to hire an apprentice makes sense.

Hiring your apprentice

There are several steps to taking on an apprentice.

  1. Choose an apprenticeships framework or standard for an apprenticeship in your industry and at a suitable level
    (Apprenticeship Frameworks were designed by a group of organisations relevant to the apprenticeship. Apprenticeship Standards are designed by groups of employers to ensure the knowledge, skills and behaviours included in the course are relevant to a specific occupation.)
  2. Find an organisation that offers training for the apprenticeship framework or standarda you've chosen.
    (The training provider has the primary responsibility for providing all the off-the-job training, assessing your progress and supporting you during your apprenticeship.)
  3. Check what funding is available.
    If you do not need to pay the levy
    You pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice.
    You need to:
    • agree a payment schedule with the training organisation
    • pay them directly for the training
    • The government will pay the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum. They'll pay it directly to the training organisation.
    If you pay the levy
    • You'll receive funds to spend on training and assessing your apprentices. The government will add 10%.
    • How you get your funds and pay for training depends on whether you're in: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
  4. Advertise your apprenticeship on - you can instruct your training organisation to do this for you.
  5. Select your apprentice and make an apprenticeship agreement and commitment statement with them.
    (The training provider will create a commitment statement which is part of the Apprenticeship Agreement. This is an individual learning plan that the apprentice, employer and training provider all sign up too.)