Planning to recruit an apprentice
Before beginning the recruitment process, it is important to make sure an apprenticeship is the best fit for your team. Some considerations and key information before you recruit.
Benefits of hiring an apprentice
Apprenticeships can be a great solution for an organisation, and not just from a cost-saving perspective. Taking on an apprentice enables an organisation to:
- develop new talent to meet your needs
- free up existing staff to take on more responsibility
- give your team new skills and energy
- give a young person a career opportunity.
What an apprentice needs
If you are thinking of hiring an apprentice just because you need ‘an extra pair of hands’ at a busy time, or you have a temporary gap in your current team, then an apprentice may not be the best option. The needs of the apprentice must also be considered.
An apprentice needs:
- a range of opportunities to learn and achieve competence in all the set standards for their apprenticeship
- to develop transferable skills and relevant experience to help them get a job at the end of their apprenticeship (at UoB or elsewhere)
- to build a solid foundation that means they have the capability to progress in the workplace
- a motivating and supportive workplace, with coaching and mentoring support and continuous assessment of progress
Complete this planning to recruit an apprentice questionnaire (Office document, 15kB) to work through some key considerations and decide if recruiting an apprentice is a good option for you.
Which apprenticeships are available?
Apprenticeships have been undergoing a programme of change in both their structure and funding. They are now employer-led: employer groups set the standards to meet the skills needed in their sector, and individual larger employers now fund their apprenticeship training costs by paying an apprenticeship levy. There are now many more types of apprenticeship available in a broad range of disciplines and at a greater range of educational levels.
Check the Institute of Apprenticeship’s list of available apprenticeship standards to find out whether there is a suitable apprenticeship standard available that matches your requirements.
The old apprenticeship frameworks are being phased out by 2020 and replaced by apprenticeship standards. Apprenticeship frameworks and standards differ significantly in structure, requirements and assessment methods.
Frameworks consist of several qualifications and requirements – normally a theoretical knowledge qualification (the off-job element), a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) to demonstrate applied competence (the on-job element), a personal thinking and learning skills (PLTS) workbook, an employment rights and responsibilities (ERR) workbook, and English/maths qualifications.
These apprenticeships frameworks have been considered by some employers to be too qualifications-led and lacking in flexibility to meet the needs of their workplace. These are being phased out.
Apprenticeship standards are not direct replacements for the old frameworks.
Each apprenticeship standard has been drawn up by a group of employers approved by the DfE and are developed following a rigorous process before being made available for delivery. Each employer group formulates a set of standards and these are generally a short two-page document that outline the skills, competences and behaviours that need to be demonstrated in a particular role or occupation in order to warrant an apprenticeship award. This may or may not include qualifications.
There will still be a requirement for 20% off-the-job development, and this may take the form of day release, but what is achieved and how it is delivered in this time may differ depending on the training provider chosen.
Standards also differ from frameworks in the way that they are assessed. Rather than undertaking an NVQ during the 80% on-the-job development time, apprentices will work on building a portfolio to show they meet the standards for the apprenticeship. Review of the portfolio will form part of the end point assessment. Apprentices following a standard will need to pass a graded assessment at the end of their apprenticeship in order to be awarded the apprenticeship.
Take a look at the apprenticeship standard document for Business Administration Level 3 as an example of the new format.
You have decided that an apprentice is the right choice for your team. Your next step is to follow the recruitment process
The Institute of Apprenticeships provides a list of current apprenticeship standards on their website.
Planning to recruit an apprentice?
There are several factors to be considered when deciding whether to recruit an apprentice. Complete our planning to recruit an apprentice questionnaire (Office document, 15kB) to help with your decision.
If you have any questions about employing an apprentice that are not answered on these pages, get in touch with us at