Employing an apprentice
Apprenticeships provide the skilled workers that employers need for the future. Apprentices work alongside experienced employees to gain on the job skills, while getting outside training from an approved college or training provider. You cover their wages and Welsh Government offers support with some of the training costs.
If you decide to make the genius decision to recruit an apprentice you can advertise, with the assistance of a training provider, your vacancy on the Apprenticeship Vacancy Service (AVS). To find out more about the AVS visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/skillsgateway/form/business-profile-apprenticeships.
Apprentices will earn while they learn and work towards nationally recognised qualifications at 1 of 4 levels - Foundation Apprenticeship (Level 2), Apprenticeship (Level 3), Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4/5 and Degree Apprenticeships Level 6.
Apprenticeships at Level 4 and above mean that we can develop stronger and deeper skills among our existing workforce. It also provides employers with the skilled staff they need to boost productivity, innovation and overall business performance.
Employability and Skills: Recruitment support
The Welsh Government has pledged to support everyone to find work, education or training, launching a £40m skills and jobs fund. This £40m will be vital in helping soften the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and will be key to driving Wales’ economic recovery to build back better.
Employability and Skills Support will enable employers to recruit new apprentices as well as develop the skills of their current workforce to meet business needs.
Recruitment support and incentives will encourage the employment of young apprentices, aged 16-24, as well as the re-employment of redundant apprentices: stimulating the recruitment of new apprenticeship places.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates said:
“This £40m package will help incentivise employers to take on and train new workers, including apprentices and young people. It will also help employers to retain and reskill the existing workforce and support individuals looking for work to secure employment”.
Hiring your apprentice
New to apprenticeships? Unsure of how to support young apprentices? Here are some key points to consider before making the genius decision to hire an apprentice aged 16-19.
- Apprentices must be over 16 to start an apprenticeship and 18 to begin a Degree Apprenticeship
- Employers must provide a contract of employment of 16+ hours a week
- All apprentices must be paid at least the Apprenticeship Minimum wage which is currently £4.15 an hour, though many employers choose to pay more than this. Apprentices must be paid both for their time in the workplace and studying. Find out more about pay and conditions here: https://www.gov.uk/apprenticeships-guide/pay-and-conditions
- Apprentices are entitled to 20 days paid holiday a year plus bank holidays
- Employers must make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled apprentices have support that is tailored to meet their needs. Access to Work can provide support and advice and assist with some costs. Find out how to be a Disability Confident Employer here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/disability-confident-how-to-sign-up-to-the-employer-scheme
- As an employer you are responsible for health and safety in your business. Taking the right precautions to reduce the risks of workplace dangers apply to all businesses, no matter how small. Young people, especially those new to the workplace, will encounter unfamiliar due to lack of experience or maturity and not having the confidence to ask for, or knowing where, they can get help. Visit the Health and Safety Executive to make sure your employees are safe at work.
- If you are new to apprenticeships, you can access further support and advice from an Employment Engagement Advisor by filling out the Expression of Interest form here: https://businesswales.gov.wales/skillsgateway/apprenticeships or email DFES-ApprenticeshipUnit@gov.wales or call 03000 6 03000
- More information on the legalities of employing young people can be found here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/law/index.htm
- Support for future, current or potential apprentices can be found on https://gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision