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Increase productivity: hire an apprentice

What is an apprenticeship?

Let’s start with the basics. An apprenticeship programme combines working and work-based training with studying for a qualification from GCSE to degree level.

What are the benefits of hiring an apprentice?

Think of it like investing in the future of your business. Your new employee is more likely to be loyal and committed to your company, with a desire to stay with you and progress. You will be able to mould and train them to a high standard and they will grow to know the company inside-out. Our apprentice schemes require compulsory English and maths skills, as well as placing an importance on business skills, providing you with a workforce of well-rounded, committed individuals. Apprenticeships have also shown to increase productivity and profit. A study by Learn Direct has shown that apprentices are likely to provide a return on investment within 2-4 years.

What are the benefits to the apprentice?

Apprentices benefit from participating in a structured training programme which gives them the chance to earn while they learn. They will gain insight and skills which they wouldn’t get from sitting in a classroom, and build experience in a working environment earlier than most of their peers. This gives them more independence and confidence, as well as the incentive of potentially earning more in the future and progressing quickly in their chosen industry.

 What are the costs involved?

There are two financial elements to consider. Firstly, you have to pay your new apprentice at least minimum wage. Remember that investment in the future we talked about?

The good news is, your business could be entitled to government funding of up to £1,500 if you have less than 50 employees and your apprentice is aged 16 to 24. You can hire up to five apprentices at any one time.

What other practical things do I need to consider?

Your new apprentice must work more than 16 hours a week, but will usually work around 30. You will need to pay them for the hours they spend studying at college (normally one day a week) as well as the time they spend working for you. You must also provide paid holidays, sick pay and any other benefits your staff usually receive.

How long do apprenticeships last?

Apprenticeships usually last 1-4 years depending on the type of qualification they are studying for.

Aren’t apprenticeships just for practical industries?

No! You can offer an apprenticeship scheme in creative and digital industries, law, renewable energy, engineering, computer or game programming, manufacturing, construction, plumbing, tattooing, fashion, horticulture, business administration, health and social care, animal care, and so many other industries.

I’m interested, what happens now?

Great, you’re already part way there. All you have to do now is register your interest with Derby College and we’ll be in contact to tell you more about the next steps and answer any more queries you might have.

We’re glad to have you on board.

To find out more, visit our apprenticeship page.


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