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Employers: I’ve employed an apprentice…now what?

CMS Vocational Training Hadyn Luke posted this on Wednesday 13th of January 2016 Hadyn Luke 13/01/2016

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Employers: I’ve employed an apprentice…now what?

There are many good reasons to take on an apprentice, as we outlined recently in our blog: 5 Employer Benefits of Apprenticeships.

But what happens once you’ve employed an apprentice? Here are some of the key considerations for an employer.

How much does an apprentice earn?

First you’ll need to ensure that your apprentice is being paid at least the minimum you are legally required to pay them- often less than the national minimum wage. This can be paid through your usual payroll system but unlike most other staff, there’s no requirement to pay National Insurance for apprentices (depending on their income threshold).

You can find more information about this at:


You can pay more than this if you wish; you can also offer your apprentice a bonus or commission on top of their regular earnings.

Most employers will find out about grants before they take on an apprentice which we have covered previosuly in ‘Apprenticeship Grant for Employers‘ but if you are unsure whether your company is eligible or want to know more about the process, feel free to contact us on 01924 470477 or further information can be found here:


What are their employment rights?

Like any other employee, your apprentice will need a contract of employment and will be entitled to the same holidays as your other staff. They should work a minimum of 30 hours and a maximum of 40 hours a week (up to 48 if they are over 18 years old).

Additionally, they may need time off for additional training activities such as workshops and for meetings with their assessor/tutor.

In some cases the apprentice will be an existing member of staff, which means they can complete the qualifcation they are enrolled on for free, like a normal apprenitce, but their wage will normally remain the same as it was before they enrolled on the apprenticeship.

How long will the apprenticeship last?

At least a year (and 2 days!); longer for a high-level apprenticeship, up to a maximum of four years. This can be discussed with us and made specific to the employer/job role.

What if things go well?

Like any other employee, some apprentices immediately show promise beyond their initial level of employment. At this point you can:

  1. Keep them on the apprenticeship but work with them to plan the next step when they complete their apprenticeship, whether this is further training or a full-time job.
  2. Upgrade them to another apprenticeship or role more suited to their abilities (see our Apprenticeship Case Study: Sophie Parkin, who was promoted after just three months and won the Kirklees 19+ Intermediate Apprentice of the Year award).

Many employers find that apprentices make excellent and loyal future employees, as they appreciate the time and money that the company has invested in them. Senior figures and company bosses have often come up through the apprentice system.

What if things don’t go well?

This is where the benefits of working with a reputable training provider come to the fore. The apprentice will have an assessor/tutor who can step in to find out why things are not progressing as planned. This may be for a personal reason that the employer is not aware of, such as a bereavement or financial struggles, or because they haven’t been getting the right support.

Whatever the case, these situations can often be rectified by better communication. Any conversations with the apprentice should be in confidence and based on supporting them to success rather than demoralising them through criticism.

What happens once the apprenticeship comes to an end?

Although you are not obliged to retain their services, many employers do offer their apprentices a full-time job once they have completed their apprenticeship. Alternatively, you might like to progress them on to further training within the company.

Either way, you should now have a well-trained member of staff, who is familiar with your business and its processes, and committed to the company’s future.

For more inforrmation on any of the below pathways, please contact us on 01924 470477 or email info@cmsvoc.co.uk

  • Level 2 Cleaning & Environmental apprenticeships
  • Level 2 sales apprenticeships
  • Level 2, level 3 and level 4 Business Admin apprenticeships
  • Level 2 and level 3 Customer Service apprenticeships
  • Level 2 and level 3 Team Leading apprenticeships
  • Level 3, level 4 and level 5 Management apprenticeships and commercial courses
  • Level 2 and level 3 Retail and Warehouse apprenticeships and commercial courses
  • Level 2 and level 3 Health & Fitness apprenticeships and commercial courses
  • Level 2, level 3 and level 4 AAT (Accountancy) apprenticeships and commercial courses

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