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What is an apprenticeship?

What is an apprenticeship?

November 19, 2015

Considering taking on an apprentice? An increasing number of local businesses are reaping the rewards of employing one.

Not only has it been shown that taking on an apprentice has links to increased productivity and improved business performance, but many managers who have trained these young people find satisfaction on a personal level in seeing them learn and grow.

Ealing Council’s 100 apprenticeships in 100 days campaign has seen pledges made by businesses from a diverse range of sectors; from the traditional and practical apprenticeship in hospitality, security, hairdressing, childcare, construction and plumbing to arguably more technical apprenticeships in engineering, business administration and sales.

The government offers financial support to certain businesses that fit their criteria and the council offers business support in the process of taking on an apprentice. The support includes help with writing role descriptions and advertising vacancies, managing the recruitment process and ongoing support for the apprentices once employed. When making a decision, it is wise for any business to take the facts into account.

The facts

An apprenticeship includes:

  • A paid work placement with on-the-job learning
  • Taking part in training courses to gain a nationally recognised qualification, in the skills area of the placement from level 2 (equivalent of 5 GCSEs at grade C and above)
  • Working towards certificates in technical skills
  • Working towards certificates in key or functional skills, for example maths, English, and ICT.
The stats
  • 80% of companies that invest in apprentices have reported a significant increase in employee retention
  • 77% of employers believe apprenticeships make them more competitive
  • 76% of those employers who employ apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive
  • 81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on apprentices
  • 92% of employers who employ apprentices believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.

Data compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service

Incentives for businesses

Aside from the aforementioned increases in productivity – statistics show that for every £1 spent on an apprentice, an employer reaps £18 in return – the government offers some businesses financial incentive in the form of:

  • Full funding for the training of 16-18 year-olds
  • Part funding for those who are 19-23
  • A £1,500 grant is available for businesses that have fewer than 100 employees and have not taken on an apprentice before.
Make a pledge: How it works

Employers who would like more information or to offer an apprenticeship to a 16-23 year-old should visit the apprenticeships pages of the council website and fill out the form online, or call 020 8825 6234.

Once you have made a pledge a member of the council apprenticeship team will be in touch with you to discuss if an apprenticeship is a good option for your business, followed by a visit to the premises where the apprentice will be working (or office base for apprentices who would be working remotely). You will be given assistance in setting up the apprenticeship role and in recruiting the apprentice.

The placement and support service from the council is free of charge. The costs to the business include the apprentices wage, and sometimes, depending on the skills area, a contribution towards the costs of the qualification.