Frequently asked questions

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Frequently asked questions

In this section you can find answers to come commonly asked questions. If you can’t find the answers you are looking for contact the apprenticeships team.

Q: Which jobs in my organisation are suitable for an apprentice?

A: There are all sorts of roles where people can learn on the job and there are over 190 different apprenticeship frameworks, that set out what an apprentice should learn and achieve during the training and what they should be able to do once they have completed their training.

The most common roles that third sector organisations train apprentices in include business administration, information and communications technology, youth work, childcare, health and social care and customer service.

Q: How much time do they need to spend away from the workplace?

A: You need to employ an apprentice for at least 16 hours a week although most are employed full time.

The time apprentices spend studying is organised flexibly to suit your needs. It can be organised on block release to a training centre or provider for a number of weeks, or on regular release such as one day a week. In some cases, training happens in the workplace.

Q: How much does employing an apprentice cost?

A: The government pays 100 per cent of the cost of training for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and 50 per cent of the training costs for young people aged 19 and over.

Apprentices are affordable as special National Minimum Wage rules apply. You need to pay the salary costs of an apprentice of at least £92.50 for a 35 hour week, although many organisations pay more.

Q: How do I find an apprentice?

A: You can recruit an apprentice yourself in the same way you recruit other staff, train one of your existing staff members as an apprentice or ask a training provider to match you with an apprentice through the national vacancy matching service. Training providers can also help with the selection process if you wish them to.

Two keys ways:

  1. Learning Trade Skills would recommend you approach Fair Train, the Group Training Association (GTA) for the voluntary sector, who will guide you through every step of the process.A Group Training Association is a not for profit organisation that encourages employers from their sector to offer apprenticeships by helping them to access and manage training for apprentices. This means that Fair Train will act in an open manner and will not make profit from providing your training; and all charities or not for profit businesses are covered by the Fair Train promise.Learning Trade Skills are on the board of Fair Train as we believe training provision for the sector should be fair. We are joined by many voluntary sector organisations and training providers: ACEVO, Action for Children, Barnardo’s,Enable, Learning Curve, NACRO, NAVCA, NCVO, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, The Prince’s Trust, Rathbone,London Learning Consortium,St John Ambulance, VISTA and VSNW. Fair Train is being co-ordinated by Rathbone.
  2. The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), a government agency have a dedicated team of employer services managers who take employers through the process to recruit an apprentice, working closely with them to meet their business’s training needs and identifying which Apprenticeship frameworks are suitable.The NAS employer services team will then put them in touch with a learning provider who can deliver their requirements and introduce them to Apprenticeship vacancies via an on-line system which allows them to advertise the vacancies for free. This matches Apprentices with prospective employers.

Q: How long does an apprenticeship take to complete?

A: Apprenticeships very much depending on how quickly an apprentice learns – they are based on demonstrating that someone can do a job to national standards.

On average, a (level 2) Apprenticeship takes between 12 and 15 months while an Advanced Apprenticeship (level 3) takes between 18 and 24 months.

Q: Will there be lots of paperwork?

A: Training an apprentice doesn’t need to include lots of paperwork. Training providers will take care of most of the paperwork so you don’t have to do more administration than for any other employee.

Q: How will I get my costs back?

A: Research carried out by the University of Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) demonstrated that apprenticeships are an investment by employers and that the returns to the employer are significant.

The study concluded that:

  • Apprentices are noted as more loyal other staff, are more likely to stay with the organisation.
  • The costs of an apprenticeship are recouped relatively quickly as apprentices are more productive than other employees.
  • Apprentices bring new ideas into organisations.
  • Recruiting an apprentice than from the external labour market is cheaper when recruitment and induction costs are taken into account.

Apprentices provide a pool of skilled people to select from for future promotion.

Q: I’m interested in employing an apprentice but want to read more details. Where can I find out more?

A: You can read the Employers’ Handbook produced by Fair Train, visit the Fair Train website or visit the National Apprenticeships website.