National Apprentice Week: The Run Down
Have you ever considered offering apprenticeships within your business?
Here’s a run down on how to get started, as well as the benefits apprentices can bring to your organisation.
DID YOU KNOW?
Apprenticeships come in many shapes and forms, as do those undertaking them. The age profile of those undertaking apprenticeships has risen in recent years, with a larger proportion of those over the age of 24 years old entering apprenticeships.
There has also been an almost equal participation of men and women in apprenticeships in England and can be undertaken across many industries, with the most popular being: Business, Administration & Law; Public, Health Services & Care; Engineering & Manufacturing and Retail & Commercial Enterprise.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF APPRENTICESHIPS?
There are three levels of apprenticeships:
· Intermediate (Level 2): Equivalent to 5 GCSEs at Grades A-C.
· Advanced (Level 3): Equivalent to two A Levels.
· Higher (Levels 4-7): Working towards learning qualifications, such as a Level 4 competence qualification or a Foundation Degree.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING AN APPRENTICE?
There are positive reasons to undertake an apprenticeship, with these including:
· PAY – Apprentices will be working and earning while they learn. Salaries vary, but apprentices can expect to earn an average of £170 per week.
· BENEFITS – Apprentices get paid holidays and benefits, such as: pension contributions and other perks, like subsidised canteen and leisure facilities, if their employer offers them.
· QUALIFICATIONS – Apprentices gain nationally recognised qualifications, valid for any employer.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF APPRENTICESHIPS FOR BUSINESSES?
Not only do apprentices reap workplace benefits, offering apprenticeships may help to improve the productivity and efficiency of your workplace. For example:
· Employers with apprenticeship programmes reported a 76% increase in productivity and a 75% improvement in quality of product or service.
· 90% of apprentices stay on in their place of work after completing an apprenticeship.
· Apprenticeships provide flexibility with the ability to cover lots of roles within your organisation, and training can be adapted to meet business needs.
· Apprentices can be employed from the age of 16 years old to any age and from any background.
HOW TO OFFER APPRENTICESHIPS WITHIN YOUR BUSINESS
Here’s some quick tips on how to offer apprenticeships within your business:
· Identify the gaps within your business - from here, you can choose an apprenticeship training course and / or training provider.
· Apply for funding – you pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice if you have a pay bill below £3 million each year, or 10% if your pay bill exceeds this. It is important to check if you’re eligible for additional funding on top of this, depending on you or your apprentice’s circumstances. For example, employees who started between 1 October 2021 and 31 January 2022 and wish to become apprentices may mean your business is eligible for a £3000 incentive payment if their apprenticeship starts between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022.
· Advertise your apprenticeship - REMEMBER: apprenticeships must last for at least a year, up to 5 years depending on the level the apprentice is studying. You must be paying the minimum wage and your apprentice must work with experienced staff, learn job-specific skills and get time for training or studying during their working week (at least 20% of their total hours).