Inducting and managing an apprentice
It is important that you create an environment that gives both you and your apprentice a rewarding experience. Part of this is understanding how to manage apprentices effectively. Many apprentices may lack experience of the workplace and it’s important to bear that in mind and ensure that as a line manager you provide them with enough, and the right type of support.
- Roles and responsibilities
- Prior to the first day
- Employment terms and conditions
- Managing 16-18 year old Apprentices
Roles and responsibilities
In an apprenticeship there is a triangulated relationship between the line manager, the training provider and the apprentice. Each have specific responsibilities referred to within the Apprenticeship Learning Agreement and Commitment Statement. There is however also a fourth role – the apprentice mentor.
The line manager will provide their apprentice with a relevant induction programme and on-the-job training. They are expected to manage the performance and wellbeing of each apprentice in line with University of Bristol policies and procedures, including Health and Safety. They will also work in partnership with the relevant training provider and be involved in reviewing and developing the progress of each apprentice. Read some tips on managing apprentices.
The training provider is responsible for the formal training, any qualification, and the assessment of each apprentice. They will also provide the line manager with feedback about the progress of the apprentice.
The apprentice is responsible for undertaking and attending required training (on and off-the-job) whilst in employment. They are expected to submit college work on time and to fully complete all relevant components to the required standard. They should also work in accordance with University policies and procedures, and comply with the terms of the Apprenticeship Learning Agreement and Commitment Statement.
The mentor's role is to act as a guide by listening, supporting and encouraging the apprentice to manage their own learning. They should encourage the apprentice to develop their skills and maximise their potential to move forward in their career. The mentor should be an experienced member of staff, or a more experienced apprentice, and they should not be in the line management chain for the apprentice. You can find out more about what apprenticeship mentors do, and the approach they should take in our Mentoring Support for Apprentices guide.
Prior to the first day
You should make sure the apprentice has contact details for someone who can answer pre-start questions, e.g. what to wear on first day.
If your apprentice has limited or no work experience, as a general rule, do not assume they know much about the world of work. What may be obvious to you may not be to them.
Even if they have previous work experience they may have had a very different experience regarding things like expectations of workplace behaviour, taking leave, reporting sick, being line managed and working hours.
An effective induction is important for any new employee and an even more important for an apprentice. Apprentices will usually require a more thorough and more basic induction than you would undertake with other appointees. We have put together a suggested Apprentice local induction checklist (Office document, 27kB) that will help guide you through the process.
Employment terms and conditions for apprentices
- All apprentices will be employed by the University of Bristol for a minimum of 30 hours per week for the duration of the apprenticeship (a minimum of 12 months). By exception, part-time, extended apprenticeships may be considered but they must be employed for a minimum of 16 hours per week.
- Time off for training, either for college day-release or for formal work based assessments, is included in the apprentice's contract hours.
- All apprentices will be subject to University of Bristol Policy and Procedures and will be covered by the particular terms and conditions of employment for staff on grade A-I. This excludes A-I salary rates as apprentices will be paid the appropriate apprenticeship rate whilst training and this will equate to at least the minimum wage for apprentices where relevant.
- An annual Staff Review must be completed for apprentices on programmes of more than 12 months duration. Upon successful completion of the review, the line manager will need to inform HR in order to trigger the apprentice's annual pay increment as there is currently no automatic process to trigger this.
- As outlined in the University of Bristol terms and conditions, workers under age 18 are entitled to a paid break of a minimum of 30 minutes after the first 4.5 hours worked on each day.
- In addition to the contract of employment with the University, an apprenticeship learning agreement document must be signed by the apprentice, employer (the line manager) and the training provider. This sets out what each party is responsible for.
Managing 16-18 year old apprentices
The University aims to adopt the highest possible standards and take all reasonable steps in relation to the safety and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Therefore, it is important to comply with the University’s Safeguarding Policy, particularly for those apprentices aged 16 to 18 years.
Health and Safety
Managers should be aware of their health and safety responsibilities for apprentices. There are certain conditions that need to be considered for apprentices under the age of 18 to ensure that they are not exposed to undue risk due to their lack of experience, being unaware of existing or potential risks and/or lack of maturity.
A specific risk assessment should always be undertaken, which takes into account the following:
- the layout of the workplace
- how the work and processes are organised
- the extent of health and safety information, instruction, training and supervision required
- the physical, biological and chemical agents they will be exposed to
- the operation of work equipment
- any further risks from particular agents, processes and work
You can find further safety information and guidance on young persons at work and the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations are available on the University's Safety and Health website, and the Health and Safety Executive website.
Have you thought about what happens next? Plan ahead for the end of your apprentice's training and their contract with the University.
Find out more about the role of apprenticeship mentors
We have put together a Apprentice local induction checklist (Office document, 27kB) that will help guide you through the process.
If you have any questions about employing an apprentice that are not answered on these pages, get in touch with us at