6 things you didn’t know about taking on an apprentice

,  25 January 2016

At Creative & Cultural Skills, we often find that employers are unsure about some of the details of taking on an apprentice. So we’ve put together six facts about apprenticeships that you may not know.

1. Apprentices are employees

They are subject to the same employment conditions as any other employee in your company, but might need a bit more support if they are new to the world of work.

Apprentices must have a 12-hour break between one shift ending and another starting, but this is no different from anybody else that might work set hours each day (e.g. 10am-6pm Monday to Friday).

2. There’s no age limit for apprenticeships

Apprentices can be any age, as long as they are 16 or over and have completed their final GCSE year at school. Higher level apprenticeships in England are also a good way to develop existing staff so they can gain the skills they need to progress.

3. There are no tuition fees

This means apprentices can earn while they learn.

If someone undertakes an apprenticeship the training costs are paid for by the Government or a combination of the Government and the employer. The percentage contributed by the employer depends on whether they are a levy or non-levy payer.

This means apprentices can earn while they learn. The off-the-job  training element sometimes requires apprentices to undertake a degree (degree apprenticeships only), but the apprentice doesn't incur the usual tuition fees!

4. They are entitled to holidays

Apprentices should have the same entitlement as other staff do, in line with your company holiday policy. So if you offer employees 25 days of leave each year, you must give your apprentice the same. This also applies to any other benefits you offer, e.g. childcare vouchers.

5. Graduates can be apprentices 

Graduates can also undertake an apprenticeship. Anyone can undertake an apprenticeship in England now, even if they have prior qualifications, including a degree. As long as the apprenticeship is in a subject area (occupation) that is unrelated to your degree you can still have your apprenticeship training funded.

This means those wishing to up-skill or change career can use an apprenticeship to do so.

6. Apprenticeships increase productivity

Research shows that apprentices increase productivity in a business by £214 a week. 

Sara ran an Apprenticeship Surgery at the 2016 Creative & Cultural Skills National Conference. Tickets are on sale now for 2018.

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