Hiring Apprentices: A Guide For Employers

The apprenticeship system is being radically reformed, but the steps you need to complete to employ an apprentice will remain broadly the same. Hiring Apprentices: A Guide For Employers highlights stages in the process that will be affected by the changes.

Major changes include:

  • The current training ‘frameworks’ are changing to ‘standards’ designed by groups of employers
  • The funding formula is changing, which will make it even more affordable to hire apprentices
  • The Apprenticeship Levy of 0.5 per cent of larger employers’ wage bills was introduced in April 2017. The Levy was adapted in April 2019 to allow businesses to share 25 per cent of their funds with other businesses, including smaller companies, within their supply chain
  • The new digital apprenticeship service will allow employers to pay for training via digital vouchers.

Apprenticeships and other vocational routes into employment offer young people a good start in a career. They also allow employers to train employees with exactly the skills they need in their workforce. Over half of young people do not choose to follow an academic pathway, so offering vocational routes widens access. This enables ambitious young people from all backgrounds to enter the workforce, building a strong and diverse talent pipeline.

About Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships give young people the opportunity to develop the skills and experience they need to take the first steps towards starting a career by completing guided in-work training, usually delivered by a specialist training provider on behalf of a business. They also allow employers to tailor training around current and future skills needs. This enables them to future proof their workforce and create a strong talent pipeline. This also helps employers to maximise retention of young employees and reduce on-going recruitment and ad hoc training costs.

Apprenticeships are one of the government’s top priorities, and it has pledged to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. To support this agenda and drive up quality, the apprenticeship system is undergoing some major changes. The new Apprenticeship Levy to fund this, came into effect in April 2017. The levy requires businesses to contribute 0.5 per cent of their wage bills to a pot of money which could be drawn back to fund apprenticeship training.

Skills is a devolved policy area, meaning that this system only applies fully in England.

Business in the Community’s (BITC) developed Hiring Apprentices: A Guide For Employers as part of the Future Proof campaign backed by the City & Guilds Group. The campaign helps employers break down the barriers in their recruitment processes to create quality, accessible jobs for all young people.

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