If you’re running a trade business, then you might have considered supplementing the available labor with an apprentice or two. This will allow you to take on more work, more quickly, without keeping clients waiting.
Apprenticeships are a great way for prospective recruits to pick up new skills while contributing from the get-go. With that said, there are a few drawbacks to this method, of which we should be aware.
Before hiring your apprentice, you’ll want to be aware of your legal obligations.
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In the UK, there is a minimum wage for apprentices, which rises every year. Apprentices who have completed a year of their apprentices are considered full workers when it comes to the minimum wage, which means that you can’t keep them on the apprentice wage indefinitely.
Whatever health and safety protections and other legal rights that your full-time employees are afforded, your apprentices are also entitled to.
UK law demands that apprentices be enrolled in a training program with an appropriate organization. This will ensure that they’re able to work to the standards required.
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Bringing in a quality apprentice often means writing a good job description. This should be packed with information about the company and the position, presented in a way that will command attention.
You might describe what the average day on the job will involve, and detail the protective gear required, including work gloves.
Before taking a would-be apprentice on board, you’ll want to be sure that they’ve got the necessary qualities and values to contribute in the right way. If the role is customer-facing, then you might look for someone who’s able to communicate and show initiative.
You’ll find several varieties of government support available, depending on the age of your would-be apprentice.
Training costs for under-nineteens are entirely funded by the Department for Education, falling to 50% for those over nineteen. There are also allowances in place to offset the imposition of a special business levy, introduced in 2017.
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There are a few common errors consistently made by employers, which you’ll want to be on the lookout for.
Hiring too fast is among the more common mistakes. It’ll force you into committing to an individual who might not be the best match for the role.
You’ll ideally need to have a specific idea of what you’re looking for from your apprentice, and setting out a concrete plan for what you’d like from the applicant.
You’ll also need to ensure that your values are aligned with the person you’re hiring – if they have a different idea of how the business should operate, things might not be sustainable in the long term.
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