The Complete Guide To Recruiting An Apprentice With GFT

Dec. 14, 2021, 2:49 p.m.
An apprenticeship is a mix of on-the-job training and study (off-the-job training). It allows people to gain employment whilst also achieving a recognised qualification in their chosen sector of work. Apprenticeship standards are now available in the majority of working industries and can be completed at all levels from Intermediate to Degree; creating a route for progression into almost any career choice.

As an employer, investing in an apprenticeship programme can be a great opportunity to introduce new talent or up-skill current staff. It allows you to train new or current members of staff to the specific standard for the role required, helping them to develop new skills, knowledge and behaviours including confidence in your workplace. An apprenticeship can also offer a secure route for progression, enabling employees to climb the ladder of success in your business.

This blog post aims to provide all the information that you need to know before employing an apprentice, helping you to understand how an apprentice can impact your business, your role and responsibilities as an employer and a run through of the support you’ll receive from us as the Training Provider.

So what is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a route into employment that offers on-the-job training alongside directed study (off-the-job) towards a recognised qualification or standard. It allows individuals to earn whilst they learn, helping them to gain valuable experience and training towards a specific role in their chosen place of employment. Apprenticeships allow employers to recruit new team members, whilst investing in their training alongside them delivering the responsibilities of the job role. Employers can also utilise the apprenticeship programme to deliver training to current employees, where they may be upskilling or progressing through their business.

When employing an apprentice through GFT, we expect candidates to meet the following criteria:
- Candidates must be age 16+
- Must be a UK/EU resident for at least three years.
- Must not have achieved a qualification at degree level or higher
- Must have a career choice in mind
- Must have previous work experience in any industry
- Must meet our criteria for Maths and English, which is specific to their sector of choice.

Apprenticeships with us can last between 12 to 30 months, depending on the choice of sector and qualification level, and your apprentice will be under a contract of employment during the whole duration of their qualification. As an employer, you can also offer your apprentice progression routes into a permanent role or onto the next level of their qualification once your apprentice has successfully achieved.

How does the training work?

Whilst completing an apprenticeship, your employee will need to complete 20% 'off-the-job' training. As an employer you will be responsible for allowing this training, to ensure that your apprentice is gaining the specific skills, knowledge and behaviours for their new role. As a Training Provider, we will work with you to develop a curriculum that ensures the standard and your needs are covered. This will include: An introduction to the apprenticeship session, several workshops delivered by our sector specific curriculum leads, and 1 to 1 guidance and support throughout the duration that your apprentice is completing their qualification with you. This support will be carried out by a dedicated Assessor, who will be your main point of contact. The Assessor will also support your apprentice throughout their development journey, to continue their progression towards their qualification by conducting observations, recorded discussions, workshops and assessments to check learning. Your apprentice may also be required to complete an End Point Assessment as part of their programme in order to fully qualify in their role. The assessor will support you and the apprentice throughout this process. In addition to job specific training, your apprentice may also need to work towards their maths and English qualifications. This training will also be provided by us as the Training Provider.

Responsibilities of you as an employer

When hiring an apprentice, you are investing in a skilled worker and gaining the opportunity to train an individual to your specific needs, developing their skills and abilities to fit the role at your business. Benefits of employing an apprentice also include:

- Grow your own talent
- Build a skilled workforce
- Improve productivity and motivation within your workforce
- Reduce recruitment costs
- Kick-start someone's career!

Employing an apprentice also brings responsibility. Firstly, you must offer your apprentice a minimum of 30 hours a week and provide a contract of employment. This is needed to ensure that the apprentice can learn the role over the timeframe of their qualification without being unemployed. As an employer you will also need to sign a Contract of services, an Apprenticeship Agreement and a Commitment Statement. These documents ensure that both parties agree on the duration of employment, the training that will be provided, their working conditions and the qualification they are working towards. The Commitment statement will include the planned content and schedule for training, what is expected and offered by yourself as an employer and how to resolve queries or complaints. The contract of employment will also ensure that your apprentice has equal rights amongst other employees; including redundancy, holiday pay and sick pay.

It is essential that you offer a safe and secure working environment and adhere to all employment legislation. This includes providing a role that complies with our Lone Working and Safeguarding policies.
As an employer you are also responsible for paying your apprentices wages. This means you will need to meet the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices, this is dependent on their age and previous experience. You must also pay your apprentice whilst they are partaking in training, as outlined before your apprentice will receive training during their working hours either on-site or off-site.

As mentioned above, your apprentice is required to partake in a minimum of 20% off-the-job training. This means that you must be able to set aside time for your apprentice to learn away from their day to day duties. You must be dedicated to helping the progression and development of your apprentice, ensuring they can complete their role with confidence.

How does the recruitment process work?

Here at GFT, we provide a full recruitment service to fill your vacancy with the perfect candidate that matches your role and working environment. Our team will be supporting you through the complete cycle of releasing a vacancy, sourcing candidates, interviewing candidates and placing the candidate into their role.

Our Recruitment Team aims to make the process of employing an apprentice as simple and as stress-free as possible. With experience of working closely with employers for over 30 years, we have dedicated our efforts towards developing a smooth and effective process of recruitment. Ensuring that every employer is matched to an apprentice that connects with their business requirements.

1. Firstly, we will arrange an appointment to get to know you and explain the process of an apprenticeship in detail. Including support with setting up the “Apprenticeship Digital Account” which enables you to manage your apprenticeship funding and incentives.

2. Your dedicated recruitment consultant will then learn about your business, through a Training Needs Analysis supporting you develop a job role description that outlines your expectations.

3. We will then work alongside our marketing department to advertise your vacancy on the relevant digital platforms, enabling us to source high quality candidates.

4. Following candidate applications, we will then work closely with you to screen candidates that meet your expectations. Before sending them forward to you to conduct the interview process.

5. If you successfully find a candidate during the interview process, we will then progress them onto the stage of starting their role and initiating their training through our on-boarding process

6. The successful candidate will then continue their journey with our dedicated apprenticeship department, who will offer them support throughout their programme. Their curriculum lead will provide all of the off the job training and their dedicated Assessor will also be available to offer you advice and support with the apprentice if needed.

If you're looking to employ an apprentice within Business Administration, Customer Service or Early Years; please visit our 'Employ An Apprentice' page. Alternatively, you can call our team on 0121 333 3001, or Email recruitment@wearegft.co.uk.