Taking on an Apprentice | Your Guide

Taking on an Apprentice | Your Guide

Taking on an apprentice in the UK can be a mutually beneficial arrangement for both your organisation and the apprentice. It allows you to develop a skilled workforce while providing an individual with valuable work experience and training. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

1. Determine Your Needs

Identify the skills and roles within your organisation that would benefit from an apprentice. Consider the specific tasks and projects they could work on and the skills they need to learn.

2. Choose the Right Apprenticeship

In the UK, there are various apprenticeship programs available across different industries. You'll need to select the one that aligns with your business needs. You can find information on apprenticeship standards on the government's official website iFATE - Apprenticeship search / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

3. Find an Apprenticeship Provider

You'll need to partner with an apprenticeship training provider. They will help you with the recruitment process, training plan, and ensure that your apprentices receive the necessary education and qualifications. Currently iPET Network work with several Training Providers and the following Training Providers can offer apprenticeships in many of the standards we are approved for:

  1. Keits
  2. Haddon
  3. St Helens College
  4. Somerset Skills and Learning

4. Register as an Employer

To take on an apprentice, you'll need to register as an employer with the Apprenticeship Service. This allows you to access government funding for apprenticeships.

5. Create a Job Description

Craft a clear job description for the apprenticeship position. Outline the responsibilities, qualifications, and skills required. Highlight opportunities for learning and development.

6. Advertise the Apprenticeship

Advertise the apprenticeship position through various channels, including your website, job boards, indeed, social media, and training providers. Be sure to specify how applicants can apply.

7. Interview and Select

Conduct interviews and select the most suitable candidate. Look for a good fit with your organisation's culture and a genuine interest in learning and growing.

8. Apprenticeship Agreement

Once you've selected an apprentice, create an apprenticeship agreement. This legal contract outlines the terms and conditions of the apprenticeship, including duration, working hours, pay, and the training plan. iPET Network recommends the Federation of Small Business to help support you with this process and any ongoing HR issues.

9. Provide Training and Support

Work with your apprenticeship training provider to develop a structured training plan. Assign a mentor or supervisor to provide guidance and support throughout the apprenticeship. It is important that the employer and apprentice are committed to completing the apprenticeship within the required requirements and the employer to provide the ‘off the job’ hours per week allowing the apprentice to complete their studies.

10. Pay and Benefits

Apprentices in the UK are entitled to a minimum wage that is detailed on the government website, as an employer you must ensure that you meet the legislation relating to employment such as providing paid holidays, pension contributions etc. but you can also offer additional employee perks.

11. Monitor Progress

Regularly assess the apprentice's progress and provide feedback. Adjust the training plan if necessary to ensure they meet their learning objectives.

12. Qualifications and End-Point Assessment

Apprentices will work towards achieving specific qualifications and undergo an end-point assessment. Each standard has a different duration period for example the Dog Grooming standard is a 12 month programme but additional time is required as part of the contract period to complete the End Point Assessment (EPA), the Senior Equine Groom standard is 18 months and then extra time for the EPA period. It is important that as an employer you understand the programme period and the standard assessment plan which is found on the iFATE website. It is important that the apprentice and employer are commited to this period of learning. iPET Network are approved for the following standards:

  1. Animal Care and Welfare Assistant
  2. Dog Grooming
  3. Equine Groom
  4. Senior Equine Groom
  5. Keeper and Aquarist

But we are also looking to be approved for supplementary apprenticeships such as Customer Care, Team Leader, Business Management to support those that are in the Animal Care and Veterinary Science Sector. Read more about our approved standards and why choose iPET Network as the End Point Assessment Organisation. here.

At iPET Network we understand the need to provide guidance and support to Training Providers right from the start to ensure Employers and Apprentices achieve their goals. We provide robust assessment preparation resources and technology led for specific components of the apprentice standards. We have an expert team that have managed apprenticeships for many years so understand the requirements and needs of a business. Our experienced and friendly assessors ensure that the apprentices feel supported and relaxed during their end point assessment and can provide meaningful feedback to all stakeholders.

Your training provider will guide you through this process.

13. Completion and Next Steps

Once the apprenticeship is completed successfully, you can consider offering the apprentice a permanent position, extending their contract, or helping them find employment elsewhere to further their career. Minimum wage requirements must always be met when an apprentice has been on programme for 12 months regardless of the any additional period to complete the End Point Assessment.

14. Funding and Incentives

Explore available government funding and incentives for hiring apprentices. Depending on the age and circumstances of the apprentice, you may be eligible for financial support.

15. Legal Compliance

Ensure you comply with all employment laws and regulations, including those related to apprenticeships. The UK government provides resources and guidance on this matter.

16. Promote Your Apprenticeship Program

Share success stories and promote your apprenticeship program to attract more candidates in the future.

Taking on an apprentice can be a rewarding experience for your organisation, helping you develop a skilled workforce and contributing to the growth of your industry. By following these steps and working closely with apprenticeship training providers, you can create a successful apprenticeship program in the UK.