Employing an apprentice

Here's how you can go about adding young talent to your workforce

First published on Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020

Last updated on Friday, May 06, 2022

For various reasons, as a business it can be a great idea to bring in young talent.

If they’re happy to learn a trade and new skills from you, then you can train them up to be hardworking employees.

In return, young talent offers your business youthful energy and enthusiasm, but also inexperience and the capacity for makes.

But if you view them as a long-term prospect, you can train them up to be valuable additions to your organisation.

In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about employing a college student or recent graduate.

How to employ an apprentice

If you’re thinking, “I want to employ an apprentice!” then there are several steps to keep in mind if you want to hire one.

Aged 16 or over, they usually combine studying with their work. This helps them to gain professional skills alongside their educational achievements.

You can actually get government funding to cover some of the training costs involved with assessing a young talent, too.

For further information, you can also visit the Gov.UK site about employing an apprentice.

How to hire an apprentice

If you want to bring young talent into your business, then there are five steps to take (although, for note, this is different in Scotland).

  1. Decide upon an apprenticeship standard/framework—make this decision based on your industry.
  2. You can then find an organisation that offers apprenticeships that matches the framework you’ve chosen.
  3. See if you’re eligible for funding (more on this below).
  4. You can then advertise you’re open for new starters.
  5. You can begin the process of selecting your new starter. Hold interviews as you normally would for other roles, then you must make an apprenticeship agreement and commitment statement for the individual.

Do apprentices need a contract of employment?

If you’ve made your decision and want to hire a young talent or two, then what next?

Well, they’re like your other staff members—and you do have to pay them.

But does an apprentice need a contract of employment?

An apprenticeship agreement does have to be signed. Employers taking on apprentices have to provide this—it’s a specific requirement for this type of employment.

This agreement should make a statement about the skill, trade, and occupation of the individual.

If you need a template for this, you can get in touch with us for further details and assistance.

But, for note, England and Wales have apprenticeship agreements. In Scotland, there are contracts of employment.


When hiring an apprentice (UK), remember that you have to pay them at least the national minimum wage. So, how much does it cost to employ an apprentice?

As of 2019, the minimum wage rate for a beginner is £3.70 an hour. This is the pay rate for an apprentice who is under the age of 19.

You’re responsible for paying them this wage and providing a contract of employment.

You may also wonder do employers get paid for apprentices.

Well, you can get funding from the government to assist with training the individual. However, the total you get will depend on the payment you provide.

You pay a levy to them if your business with a bill of over £3 million annually.

If you have this, then you may receive assistance from the government. But you may still get assistance even if you don’t have the levy.

Apprentice employment rights

They may be young and inexperienced, but they still have employment rights.

Ultimately, if you embrace apprentice careers and employment then you have a great chance to train your up young talent.

They may even stay with your business for many years to come, rewarding your commitment to them fully.

Want more help?

We’ll help you introduce a fresh young talent to your workplace. Get in touch to reap all the benefits of talented young minds: 0800 783 2806.

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