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Help Young People into Work - Apprenticeships

Trading for Good Guide to Apprenticeships


 

Youth unemployment is still a problem for the UK with 628,000 young people aged 16-24 unemployed in September-November 2015. The unemployment rate (the proportion of the economically active population who are unemployed) for 16-24 year olds was 13.7%. And therefore there is a need to address this problem and provide young people with an opportunity to enter the world of work.

As well as providing employment opportunities for experienced workers, small business plays a vital role to ensure young people are brought into the world of work.

Could you update your human resource policies and processes to ensure young people are given a chance to succeed?

It can be easier and cheaper than you might think and it's a great way of developing future talent of your own.

What does taking on an apprenticeship mean for you?

Apprenticeships are real jobs that combine practical and theoretical skills and are designed to help employees gain a skill or trade. Apprenticeships can be offered to both new and existing staff. Apprenticeships are available in more than 170 industries covering over 1,500 job roles. There are up to 27,000 vacancies available across England on the apprenticeships.gov.uk website right now ranging from accountancy to textiles, engineering to veterinary nurse, business administration to construction.

As Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, most of the training is “on the job” at your premises, working with a mentor to learn the job-specific skills in the workplace.  The remainder can be provided by a local college or by a learning provider, or at premises away from the working environment.

What help can you get?

You may get a £1,500 apprenticeship grant if:

you have less than 50 employees
your apprentice is aged 16 to 24
You can claim support for up to 5 apprentices 

Funding for training

You can apply for funding to cover the costs of your apprentice’s qualification if you’re providing their formal study as well as being their employer.

Usually the training organisation provides the apprentice’s training and will get this funding - contact the National Apprenticeship Service for more information.

The amount you could get varies depending on whether the candidate is:

Aged 16 to 18 - you can get all of their course costs up to advanced level apprenticeship qualifications, eg higher diplomas or A-levels
Aged 19 to 23 - you can get half of their course costs
24 years and older - you may only get a contribution

Further information is available from the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600 or www.apprenticeships.org.uk. Advisors can help you find your apprentice by advertising your vacancy free of charge on the Apprenticeship Vacancies website.

What do you have to do?

Pay and conditions for apprentices

You must pay apprentices at least the minimum wage rate.

The National Minimum Wage calculator works out the exact amount that you have to pay an employee.

Conditions

Apprentices usually work for at least 30 paid hours a week and must work more than 16.

You must pay your apprentice for time spent training or studying for a relevant qualification, whether while at work or at a college or training organisation.

You must offer apprentices the same conditions as other employees working at similar grades or in similar roles. This includes:

paid holidays
sick pay
any benefits you offer, eg childcare voucher schemes
any support you offer, eg coaching or mentoring
Apprentices and redundancy

You can’t usually make an apprentice redundant simply because you can’t afford to pay them, eg if your company runs out of work. This is because you have a contract to train them.

You should get legal advice if you think you might have to make an apprentice redundant or want to end the apprenticeship early for another reason.

For more information visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk. 

 

Kevin Barber
About the Author

Kevin Barber

Trading for Good East of England. Helping small businesses strengthen their reputation and grow by showcasing the good work that they do in their communities.

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