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Recruiting an Apprentice

If you’ve decided that hiring a new apprentice is the right thing for you business, here are some tips to make it easier.
You can check the minimum requirements.

Apprentices should expect to work for at least 30 hours per week. This could increase to 16 hours per week in exceptional cases. However, the apprentice’s overall duration will increase to allow the candidate enough time to complete their training.
All apprentices must receive at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage applicable to their age
Apprentices must have the right and privilege to work in the UK as their place of employment

Visit Leaving School to find an apprenticeship

You will need to set up your Digital Apprentice Service account.

Step 1

Write a job description, and a person specification

Although it may sound obvious, every year thousands of university and school graduates apply for jobs. Many people don’t know what they want, so they apply for many roles automatically.

I was speaking to one client who posted a job description to a popular jobs site and received 250 resumes within a matter of days. This is not only overwhelming but also a waste for a business owner.

The better your chances of finding the right match faster if you are clear about who you want to hire, such as a second jobber.

At a minimum,

The person specification should contain the essential and desirable knowledge criteria, prior experience, and the specific skills that you are looking for in a candidate.
A job description should contain a job title, main duties and purpose, as well as information about the company, and where the job is located.

Step 2

Deciding how much to spend

The Government has established a National Minimum Wage. However, they encourage employers not to set it. They want to offer a fair salary and reflect the work done and to attract the best candidates for the job.

Your apprentice will have to pay for their own travel and lunch. This can prove costly. Employers may consider offering incentives to help learners manage their finances during apprenticeships.

Step 3

How you will manage your apprenticeship training

Remember that you must provide apprenticeship training even if you add staff to your company at a lower rate than if you were to hire a fully qualified employee.

You can still use an apprenticeship training provider to teach the course if you already have a candidate. The Government funds the training. For SME’s the Government approved training provider provides it.

The apprenticeship course can be delivered in many ways. The majority of apprenticeship training takes place on the job at the employer’s premises. Apprentices work with mentors to acquire specific skills for their jobs.

A training provider provides off-the-job training. It can be delivered via on-site or online learning, block release, day release, or a combination of these methods.

Step 4

Advertise the apprenticeship vacancy, and invite applications

Although hiring by word of mouth is an economical option, it will likely result in a smaller pool of qualified applicants. It also does not meet equal opportunities or apprenticeship requirements.

There are many options when it comes to advertising the job. The best way to advertise the position is to ask your training organization.

Step 5

Shortlisting the most suitable candidates

There are two options for shortlisting candidates who have applied to your vacancy.

1 Request your training provider to send you copies of all applications

2 Request your training organization to conduct an initial sift for you and then forward all relevant applications. This can save you time, as we have already mentioned.

It is helpful to provide shortlist criteria if you are using an Apprenticeship provider. Aspire uses more than one person to shortlist candidates in order to avoid bias.

Step 6

How to prepare for an interview

Standard questions will be used for all candidates to ensure fairness and equity.

Most candidates will be between 16 and 24 years old, with little experience beyond school. You can gain insight into their attitudes by tailoring your questions and asking questions that don’t ask for yes or no.

Imagine you have several candidates to choose from, or that you are making more than one hire. You might want to consider second interviews. These could include asking candidates to use equipment, or discussing a professional situation. This will allow you to assess their leadership, communication and creativity skills as well as gauge their interest in the job.

Step 7

Interviews are a chance for candidates to get a first impression of your company. First impressions count!

Make sure they are prepared by explaining the interview format and the job role. Also, explain how the position fits into your department or company.
You should control the interview, but give the candidate the space to think and answer questions. This may be their first interview. There are no right or incorrect answers. If they are stuck, ask them probe questions.

When closing the interview, inform the candidate about the next steps and when a decision will take place. You are not the only role they have applied for. Let the candidate know when and how you will notify them.

Congratulations! You have an aspiring apprentice!