Apprenticeships - Frequently Asked Questions We know that if you are about to hire an apprentice for the first time, you'll have lots of questions. Here are answers to just a few of the most common concerns, but please contact our team if you can't find what you're looking for. Why is an Apprenticeship good for business? Hiring an Apprentice can help grow your business by allowing you to train your staff in line with your business requirements, boosting productivity and competitiveness. A research study carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) found that, on average, each apprentice brings an increase in productivity of more than £10,000 per year for their employer, with figures for some sectors even higher. In addition to building a business’s skills base, Apprenticeships are particularly cost-effective as a form of training, because young people are making a contribution to the workplace while they are learning. Providing quality training to Apprentices is also likely to bring benefits through staff retention. A key factor is that staff typically feel loyal to employers who have invested in their training, and are therefore more engaged and motivated to stay. Where does delivery of an Apprenticeship take place and how do we support this? Off-the-job-training is one of the essential components of a quality apprenticeship. it reinforces practical, work-based learning with technical and theoretical learning. Apprenticeship guidance states that Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their time on ‘off–the-job-training’, also referred to as dedicated study time, here at B&FC. Off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard, teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours required to reach competence in the particular occupation. Typically this new learning would be carried out outside of an individual's working environment and contribute towards the overall achievement of an apprenticeship. 20% off-the-job-training will depend on the duration of your programme and contracted hours of work, but in general, it equates to approximately 6-8 hours a week. Do I have to pay my Apprentices when they are released for training? Yes. The laws states that they have a right to paid time off for training. It is also in your interest to give employees on Apprenticeship programmes, reasonable paid time off for any training that benefits your business. Do I have to employ an Apprentice? Yes. All Apprentices must be employed, working a minimum of 30 hours a week before we can offer them a training programme. The employer, learner and college will be required to sign an Apprenticeship Training Contract that legally must be in place before the training begins and payment of the Apprenticeship wage can commence. How much should I pay an Apprentice? The apprentice minimum wage is currently £4.30 per hour, rising to £4.81 per hour from April 2022. This rate applies to all apprentices in their first year of training regardless of their age. Thereafter, they will be paid the National Minimum Wage for their age group. More information on rates of pay can be found on GOV.uk. Can anyone over the age of 16 undertake an Apprenticeship? Yes, as long as they are not currently in full time education. New guidelines state that individuals with a Degree or higher level qualification can now undertake an Apprenticeship as long as the Standard is significantly different to their qualification achieved. All individuals wishing to undertake an Apprenticeship must be assessed in English and Maths. How is the Apprentice assessed in the workplace? All we ask is for employers to give as much support as possible in this process. Once the programme starts, work-based assessments involve assessors observing and providing guidance to your staff while they are doing their normal job. Progress reviews will be completed every 12 weeks between the assessor, employee and a supervisor/mentor from the organisation. How can I keep track of my employees training? Blackpool & the Fylde College uses OneFile to deliver Apprenticeships, which allows candidates and employers easy access to submit work and monitor progress. OneFile is a piece of software which allows electronic monitoring of the training. You can access it anywhere via the internet and see live reports, work submitted (e-portfolio) and track the progress of your employee. Can I put my current staff onto an Apprenticeship? Yes, thousands of full-time staff across Lancashire currently study on an Apprenticeship programme to help upskill in their chosen field. An Apprenticeship can help companies train staff in managerial positions or simply to give them added skills, knowledge and confidence in the workplace.