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Keeping Up with Apprenticeship Standards: What Employers Should Know

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Hiring an apprentice is different to hiring a regular employee. Employers have a responsibility to create an environment where apprentices can learn and grow, following government standards. 

In this blog, we'll explore what these standards are and how employers can meet them while making the most of apprenticeships. 

Some of these standards for employers include:

  • Meeting national minimum wage standards
  • Allocating 20% of work time for training
  • Ensuring safe working conditions
  • Providing structured learning opportunities
  • Clarifying employment terms
  • Regularly assessing apprentice development.

Find out more about the responsibilities that come with hiring an apprentice below. 

Must comply with 2024 national minimum wage standards

Apprenticeship employers must adhere to the national minimum wage regulations to ensure fair compensation for apprentices. However, they have the flexibility to pay above the minimum wage if they choose to do so, providing an opportunity to reward apprentices for their skills and dedication.

Currently, the current national minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £6.40 per hour. If they’re over the age of 19 and have completed their first year, they are entitled to the national minimum wage for their age range

Must support on-and-off the job training

Employers are required to dedicate at least 20% of an apprentice's working hours to training or studying. This means that if they need to spend time studying their workload should accommodate their studying hours. 

Employers can work with their apprentice to find an appropriate schedule that works for both parties. This support ensures apprentices receive a balanced education and practical experience. 

By providing access to training opportunities and granting study time, employers are showing that they are committed to the development of the apprentice and the success of their apprenticeship programme.

Provide a safe working environment for apprentices

In traditional apprenticeships, employers must ensure that apprentices are not exposed to unnecessary risks or hazards while they learn and develop their skills. This includes implementing health and safety protocols, providing necessary protective equipment, and offering appropriate training to mitigate workplace risks.

This is especially important for trade apprenticeships, such as construction, engineering, or refrigeration / air conditioning, as the workplace can typically be more high-risk. Given the nature of these trades, where apprentices often work with heavy machinery, tools, and materials, employers must enforce stringent safety measures and provide comprehensive training to prevent accidents and injuries.

Offer appropriate learning opportunities & guidance

The apprenticeship provider plays the important role of guiding the employer and apprentice throughout the training process. They offer support and advice to employers on how to structure the apprenticeship programme effectively, as well as the compulsory classroom-based learning and assessments. 

This includes helping employers identify areas where apprentices can develop their skills and providing guidance on creating challenges that align with the curriculum. 

As an apprentice employer, you must confirm that you can provide the appropriate learning opportunities that are compulsory for the curriculum, and which your apprentice must confirm they have completed within their coursework.

Provide clear and fair terms of employment

Employers must provide apprentices with clear and fair terms of employment, including outlining expectations regarding working hours, duties, and responsibilities, as well as details about pay, holidays, and any additional benefits or perks. 

Clarity in employment terms ensures transparency and helps apprentices understand their rights and obligations within the workplace. 

Engage in regular evaluations of apprentice progress

Employers should conduct regular assessments to review the apprentice's performance, identifying strengths and areas for improvement and providing constructive feedback. This process helps apprentices understand their progress and encourages continuous learning and growth.

A good apprenticeship provider will host regular meetings between the employer, apprentice, and themselves to assess progress and address any concerns or challenges. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss the apprentice's achievements, review their goals, and plan for future learning and development opportunities. 

Also, the provider will keep employers updated on the next steps in the apprenticeship journey, including any additional training or assessments required to complete the programme successfully.

Choose Total People as your apprenticeship provider. We offer top-notch training and unparalleled support across a wide range of apprenticeships. Contact us today.

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