Employer FAQ's

The Learning and Skills Council recently surveyed businesses throughout the UK on benefits of hiring an apprentice (Populus, January 2009).

Of those surveyed:

  • 81% said that employing apprentices generated higher overall productivity for their company
  • 66% said that their Apprenticeship programme made them more competitive in their industry
  • 92% said that their Apprenticeship programme better motivated staff and increased job satisfaction
  • 74% said that apprentices tended to be more loyal, remaining at their company longer than non-apprentices

Even in difficult times like these, Apprenticeships are a vital way of improving the skills of staff and generating a commitment and valuable workforce. When times are tough, competition for contracts is even tougher. That’s when a well-trained , extra pair of hands could make a real difference to your chance of success.

Apprentices can also help you ready your business for when the economy comes out of recession. By offering a flexible recourse that can help your business grow, apprentices can also give you a competitive advantage to exploit new business growth opportunities

There are clear financial benefits to employers and their investment in Apprenticeships is repaid many times over.

A recent study by the University of Warwick Institute of Employment Research found that the costs of Apprenticeship training are recouped relatively quickly, and that where the investment is nurtured, the returns are significant.

Another study by Sheffield University measured the long term financial benefit to investing in Apprenticeships. A Level 3 Advanced apprentice will generate an additional lifetime benefit to themselves and their employer of £105,000 compared to someone who does not gain an Apprenticeship. The Level 2 additional benefit is £73,000. This represents a gain of £16 for every £1 of taxpayers’ money.

Employers do not receive a direct monetary incentive to take on apprentices. However, the off-job training costs are subsidised in full, or in part, by the National Apprenticeship Service.

Because it is good business. Skills shortages are still one of the biggest threats to UK business. Apprenticeships can help businesses across all industries by offering a route to harness fresh talent. If you have trained staff with the right skills for the job they can do a wider range of tasks and take on new responsibilities - this can help to reduce skill shortages, minimise staff turnover and workplace accidents, and increase productivity.

Taking on an apprentice is cost effective because your people can learn while they’re on the job and the government contributes to the costs of learning.

No they can take on as many as they need - and often in more than one framework. The employer will be responsible for giving the apprentice an induction into their role as they provide on-the-job training.

Like all employees, apprentices must still receive a wage. The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £2.60 per hour. However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages - in fact; research has found that apprentices earn an average of £170 net pay per week.

There is also the cost of the supervision, support and mentoring that you will need to put in place to support the apprentice. These associated costs are not significant - however, the National Apprenticeship Service will match employer’s commitment to hiring apprentices by covering in full, or in part, the training costs.

The National Apprenticeship Service covers the training of apprentices depending on their age.

Age                        National Apprenticeship Service contribution

16 -18                    up to 100%

19 - 24                   up to 50%

25 +                        Contribution for specified places

The government provides the funds to cover the full cost of the mandatory training required to complete the framework as determined by the relevant SSC for a young person aged 16-18 on an Apprenticeship. If employers or providers choose to deliver additional qualifications or courses as part of the delivery of the overall framework then these courses will not be funded and will need to be paid for by the provider or employer.

We also support employers through the process of recruiting and training a candidate, including signposting them to providers and advising on the Apprenticeship frameworks available. The National Apprenticeship Service also manages Apprenticeships vacancies - a free online recruitment tool that can be used to match apprentices with prospective employers.