To get the most out of recruiting an apprentice, you should view it as a long term skill investment, rather than a quick fix to help you with low level tasks. Supporting a young person as they start their career should be a rewarding experience for you both; with the right support, your apprentice will progress into a loyal and dependable member of staff.
Just like any other employee, pay is an important factor in how valued an apprentice will feel within your organisation. As they find their feet, your apprentice will become an asset to your team, so this should be reflected in their wages.
The Apprentice National Minimum Wage (ANMW) is currently £3.90 per hour, but we would always recommend paying more than this where possible. Not only will you attract a higher standard of applicant to begin with, but well compensated apprentices are likely to stick around for longer.
Your job as an apprentice’s mentor is to support and nurture them. Regular 1-2-1 sessions are a productive way to gauge their progress. Encourage them to discuss their training, any skills they have learned and how they are settling in to the workplace. Use this feedback to shape the support you offer them, providing new opportunities to put their skills into practice whenever you can.
Apprentices regularly attend review calls with their assessors to talk about progress, results and feedback. While it is not compulsory for employers to attend these calls, we highly recommend that you do. It's an ideal opportunity to involve yourself in your apprentice’s learning. You can also raise any concerns and get an overview of which assessment plans they need to complete.
To give your apprentice a focus to work towards, there should be a reasonable chance of them being offered a full time position on completion of their apprenticeship. Why spend the time and effort on training someone only for them to leave and put these skills to use somewhere else? Apprentices have the capacity to go far within the organisations they work for because they can be moulded to suit the company culture and work ethic.
The learning doesn’t have to stop when an apprentice finishes their training programme. Progressing onto level 4 apprenticeship programmes can help ambitious learners to develop their skills even further. Make your apprentice aware of the opportunities that are available to them, and allow them to take charge of their own progression.
Find out more about recruiting an apprentice here.