How To Employ An Apprentice


There are so many perks to hiring an apprentice, and they can offer much more than just another pair of hands! Adding an apprentice into your team brings a fresh vision and approach to your business, can be financially beneficial for you and invests in the future of the economy.

Although apprenticeships are on the rise, with up to 3 million apprenticeship programmes set for 2020, there are still many businesses big and small that haven’t yet tapped into the potential an apprentice can bring.

If you are looking at hiring an apprenticeship to bring skills and value to your business, but aren’t sure where to start – you’ve come to the right spot! As a recognised Apprenticeship Standards provider, we understand that the red tape can be off-putting, but we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be daunting adding an apprentice to your team!

About The Apprentice

Let’s start with the apprentices themselves, shall we? We want to keep things as straightforward as possible, so here is everything you need to know about the WHO.

  • Any apprentice must be aged 16 or over to be eligible for an apprenticeship programme.
  • Only individuals who are not in full-time education can become an apprentice.
  • If you are a business based in England, then your apprentice must be living in England as well.

About You, The Business

As the employer, you might think that this is where things become too complicated. Whilst we agree that there are a number of things you need to know, it doesn’t need to become to tasking. Here are the things you need to do as a business for your apprentice:

  • You must offer a contract of employment to your apprentice that runs for a minimum of 1 year. An apprenticeship contract must be long enough in order for the apprentice to gain the necessary skills and qualifications.
  • You must have a signed apprenticeship agreement before the apprenticeship begins. The apprenticeship agreement details the employment arrangements between yourselves and the apprentice.
  • You must sign a commitment statement. This is to say you will offer full support to the apprentice in order for them to achieve successful completion of their apprenticeship.
  • You must pay the minimum wage for apprentices, which is £3.50 per hour. For apprentices over the age of 19, or who have past their first year of employment, you must pay the national minimum wage for their age group. You can if you choose to, pay more than the NMW.
  • Your apprentice must be entitled to the same terms as other employers in similar positions. This can include things such as sick pay and holiday pay.
  • You must enable the apprentice to learn multiple job-specific skills and be exposed to a range of relevant work experiences.

About The Process

So you have decided that you definitely want to take the necessary steps towards hiring an apprentice, great! Here is everything you need to know about the process before getting started:

  • The first thing you want to do is choose a relevant apprenticeship framework or standard. This should match your industry and be at a suitable level. An apprenticeship standard will detail exactly what is expected of the role, what skills are required and what tasks will be involved.
  • Find an apprenticeship provider. There are a number of reputable organisations out there that offer training for the apprenticeship framework that you have gone for. If you are looking for a digital tech apprentice then we offer only recognised apprenticeship standards, believing that effective and relevant workplace skills and knowledge are the future of valuable apprenticeship programmes.
  • Checking your funding should be the next step, once you have everything in place and know exactly what you’re looking to gain, you can then check out the funding options open to you. Hiring an apprentice can be a valuable asset to your business at a low price, and there are many generous funding schemes out there depending on your individual circumstances. Make yourselves familiar with the new apprenticeship levy that applies to large business earning over £3 million a year, as this can impact your application process.
  • Get the word out; you can either advertise your apprenticeship role or your training provider will do it for you!
  • Once you have your ideal apprentice candidate, you can get started with the formalities of commitment statements and contracts.

Remember To Always Check What Funding Is Out There

We can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research; there are so many financial aids out there for apprenticeship programmes. Did you know that you could be eligible for up to £1,500 per apprentice through the apprenticeship grant for employers scheme? Depending on your business and the apprentice’s individual circumstances, you could have access to a range of help.

It’s As Easy As That!

See, it isn’t as complex as you thought right? When employers and apprentices alike approach us at Digital Native, we like to be thorough in explaining the process, without making things over complicated!

We are dedicated to offering a smooth ride that offers support for both you as a business and the apprentice in their learning journey.

If you are on the market for a high calibre tech apprentice, why not get in touch and see how we can help!