Skip to content

What to consider when employing an apprentice

  • by

Here are some things to consider before you decide to hire a new apprentice.
The minimum requirements are:

Apprentices will be expected to work at least 30 hours per week. Except in exceptional circumstances, it could be as much as 16 hours per work week. The apprenticeships duration will however increase to allow candidates enough time to complete training.
All apprentices should be paid the Apprenticeship National Minimum wage relevant to their age
Apprentices must be able to work in the UK and must have their employment place in the UK.
You will need your own Digital Apprentice Service account. Reserve funding is also required.

Step 1

Write a job description.

This may seem obvious but every year, thousands of high school and university graduates start to apply for work. Some people do not know what they want so they start applying for multiple roles in an automated manner.

I spoke with a client the other day who put out a job listing on a well-known site. He received 250 CVs within days. It was daunting and a waste of time for business owners to sort through all these resumes.

You will have a better chance of finding the right person faster if you are clear about what you are looking for, like a second jobber.


A person specification should contain essential and desirable knowledge criteria as well as previous experience and specific skills you’re looking to find in the candidate.
A job description should include the title of the job, the primary duties and purpose of your role, information about the company, and details about your job location.

Step 2

Deciding what amount to pay

Although the Government has established a National Minimum Wage they encourage employers to pay a reasonable salary to reflect the quality of work performed and the ability to attract the best applicants to your vacancy.

It is important to remember that the apprentice will be responsible for paying for lunch and travel expenses. Many employers may offer incentives payments to help apprentices manage their finances.

Step 3

Decide how you will manage apprenticeship training

It is important that you remember that although you may be adding staff to your business at an lower rate than you would if you hired a fully qualified person, you still have to provide apprenticeship training.

Even if you have found the right candidate, the apprenticeship training provider can still be used to deliver the course. Short summary: The Government funds training. SME’s can use the Government-approved training provider.

There are many options for how an apprenticeship course is delivered. Training is mostly done on-the-job at the employer’s site, with a mentor who helps you to develop job-specific skills.

Off-the job training is provided by a provider. It is offered via online and on-site learning, block release, day release or a mixture of all three.

Step 4

Advertisement of the apprenticeship opening and inviting applications

While hiring via word-of-mouth may seem economical, it can lead to a smaller pool suitable candidates and not satisfy equal opportunities.

You have many options to choose from when advertising the position. Your training organization will help you choose the best method.

Step 5

Shortlisting of suitable candidates

When it comes to shortlisting applicants for your job vacancy, you have two options:

1 Request that you receive copies of all applications from your training provider

2 Ask your training organization for an initial sift and to then forward you any suitable applications. This will save you time as well, as I mentioned before.

If you use an Apprenticeship provider, it is helpful to give them the shortlist criteria. Aspire employs more than one person in order to narrow down candidates. This helps to avoid any bias.

Step 6

Prepare for the interview

The process will be fair and equitable if all candidates are asked the same questions.

Candidates will typically be 16-24 years old and have not had much experience outside of school. This will allow you to gain insight into their attitudes, and help you prepare questions that do not require yes or no answers.

Let’s say you have multiple candidates or are looking to hire more people. If this is the case, second interviews might be an option. You could ask candidates to have lunch or use equipment. You can assess their communication, creativity and leadership skills and gauge their interest in the role by doing this.

Step 7

An interview is a chance for a candidate to make a good impression about your company. First impressions count!

You can make sure that they feel comfortable by sharing the interview format with them, outlining the job role and explaining how it fits within your company.
While you should be in control of the interview, allow candidates to think and respond to your questions. You may not know the answers to your questions, but this could be their first interview.

After closing the interview, let the candidate know the next steps as well as when a decision will occur. The candidate may have applied for other roles, so let them know when it will be and how to notify you.

Congratulations, you now have an apprentice!