Step six: After the apprenticeship
Working with your apprentice.
How long an apprenticeship takes will depend on your particular business, the kind of work your apprentice will be doing and their own individual learning pace.
However, legally, the apprentice's employment should last a minimum of a year. As a guide, a Level 2 apprenticeship should last 12 months or more, and a Level 3 apprenticeship would normally take 18 months to two years.
Both these time specifications help to ensure that the apprenticeship is of real practical value to both apprentice and employer.
The end of the apprenticeship
Once the apprenticeship reaches its natural conclusion, the next step is up to you.
You can continue the training if there's a progression available, offer the apprentice a full-time job, or terminate the contract.
Continuing the apprenticeship
If the apprenticeship was at Level 2, you may want to explore the option of continuing the training at Level 3.
Offering a full-time job
Many employers find they don't want to lose their apprentice, and six out of ten remain with their employer once they've finished their training.
If you want to employ the apprentice full-time, since they are already an employee this is simple: their employment can continue for as long as you both want it to.
Ending the apprenticeship
You may not have a job for them at the end of the apprenticeship, and that's absolutely fine.
The most important thing is that the apprentice has a meaningful experience during their time with you. That includes the opportunity to work, develop skills, achieve a qualification and do a bit of networking. A job at the end is a bonus!
Terminating the employment
In the event that things just aren't working out, you are free to terminate the apprentice's contract of employment, in the same way you would with any employee.
The apprentice will have to stop their training until they find alternative employment in the same sector.