Employer Commitment

What health and safety measures must be in place and who is responsible?

As an Apprentice employer you must take all necessary steps for securing the health, safety, and welfare of any Apprentice in your care.  This includes risk assessment, supervision, provision of personal protective equipment, and training.

Any accident or occupational disease affecting an Apprentice must be reported to H/WGTA for our investigation, and so that we may meet our obligation to monitor accidents.

Do I have to employ my Apprentice?

All Apprentices must be employed status.  Each Apprentice must be in receipt of a Contract of Employment within 8 weeks of commencing their position (i.e. a time bound contract to provide training under an Apprenticeship agreement).  H/WGTA is required to ensure that this document is in place and has been signed by both a representative of your organisation and your Apprentice.

Note: – this does not imply continuous employment beyond the time limit of the Apprentice’s agreement.

What is the Apprenticeship Contract and is it different to the Contract of Employment?

The Apprenticeship Contract is a stand-alone document governed by the laws of England and Wales, and is in addition to the Contract of Employment.  It is a requirement for any employer who recruits an Apprentice to produce this document and for its contents to be agreed between the employer and the Apprentice.   H/WGTA will provide a template of the contract on commencement of Apprentice employment, along with guidance on completing it.

The contract will incorporate a dual agreement to undertake an Apprenticeship, and will include the basic terms of employment, and confirmation of the commitment to uphold the rules of health and safety and equality and diversity.

What benefits should my Apprentice(s) receive?

Apprentices are entitled to the same holidays as their colleagues, unless special circumstances are identified and other arrangements agreed.  It is not however, unlawful for an Apprentice to have different or lesser employment benefits than that of regular employees.  i.e, pension, healthcare arrangements etc.

What hours is my Apprentice(s) permitted to work?

Apprentices must be offered a minimum of 30 hours work per week to complete their Apprenticeship (including any time spent on ‘off the job’ training) however, the majority of Apprentices work full-time.

If an Apprentice is under 18 years of age but over school leaving age ‘Young Worker’ regulations apply to their working hours.  These state that young workers may not normally work more than 8 hours a day and no more than 40 hours per week.  These hours cannot be averaged out.  (for more information on Young Worker regulations please refer to http://www.direct.gov.uk

Aspects of employment such as working hours and break times are determined between you as the employer and your Apprentice(s) adhering to the above.

If any weekend or evening work is required, or any trips off site (including residential courses), Apprentices under the age of 18 must gain written consent from their parent / guardian.

How much should my Apprentice(s) be paid?

Apprentices are to be paid directly by you as their employer, and must be paid a minimum of £2.68 per hour, this is the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices as of October 2013. This applies to all Apprentices under the age of 19, and those who are 19 or over in the first year of their training.  If after completing 12 months of Apprenticeship training your Apprentice has reached age 19 (or over), they are then eligible to receive the National Minimum wage for their age group.

(Your organisation is free to pay any amount over the minimum wage which many employers do, however this is at your discretion)

Any time an Apprentice spends training as a part of their Apprenticeship (i.e. at a training centre or college), must be paid at the same rate they receive for time spent in work

What should I do if my Apprentice is absent from work?

H/WGTA is required to maintain records of any absences therefore, if your Apprentice is absent from work you must inform us.  If your Apprentice has 4 weeks or more continuous non-attendance (due to sickness, maternity / paternity leave, religious observance etc), withdrawal from training procedures apply.  This will include establishing if the Apprentice has a genuine intention to return to training.

How are my Apprentice’s aims and progress documented and monitored?

Each Apprentice must have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) prepared by H/WGTA and the contents reviewed and agreed by the Apprentice and Employer.  All parties are required to sign to confirm their agreement.  The plan will detail the main elements and duration of training; location of ‘on’ and ‘off’ the job training; qualification and level being undertaken; and eligibility for funding.  H/WGTA are required to update the ILP to reflect any changes that occur during the course of an Apprenticeship.

Effective monitoring and review of progress must take place.  On a quarterly basis at minimum a formal report will be documented and signed by the Apprentice, Monitoring / Training Officer, and the Supervisor.  Feedback from the latter will also be obtained and recorded at least quarterly.  A hard copy of every review will be given to the Apprentice and the Supervisor.

Are there any guidelines for dealing with poor performance?

Poor performance should of course be addressed and it is essential that all Apprentices receive regular constructive feedback and clear guidance on areas for improvement.  It is however, very important to consider that Apprentices are usually inexperienced individuals (which is reflected in their salary) and therefore, on occasions will need extra support, guidance and patience than would be expected for a regular employee.

H/WGTA staffs are always willing to give advice and support on these matters.  If appropriate, Apprentices should be subject to the same discipline and grievance procedures as other members of your organisation.

What happens once my Apprentice(s) completes their Apprenticeship training?

If you wish to employ an Apprentice as a full time member of staff once their Apprenticeship training is complete, normal employment rules apply including NMW.

If however, it is not your intention to retain the Apprentice, it is anticipated that you as the employer and H/WGTA will give the individual all relevant support to find new employment, including time off for attending interviews.

How long should an Apprenticeship last?

From the 1st August 2012, it is stipulated that an Apprenticeship must last at least 12 months in duration, particularly where a learner is aged 16 -18.

Are there any other points detailed in the Contract between H/WGTA and the SFA that I need to be aware of?

The following points are detailed in the contract which you need to be aware of:

  • Apprentices have a right to join a Trade Union of their choice
  • Discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, or disability is unlawful
  • An Apprentice must be working towards gaining a full Apprenticeship Framework unless otherwise agreed with the SFA
  • Every employer must hold Employers Liability Insurance cover which extends to Apprentices who work within their organisation.  A copy of this is must be logged with H/WGTA
  • Employers must comply with all relevant current legislation and codes of practise. Please note that a number of training programmes funded by the SFA, which we deliver, do have age limits.  Age limits set in relation to state funded schemes are outside the scope of Age Discrimination legislation.

What if I meet or recruit an applicant through H/WGTA then decide to offer them full time employment with no Apprenticeship training attached?

The complimentary Apprentice recruitment service offered by H/WGTA is solely intended for recruitment of an individual onto one of the Apprenticeship programmes we offer.

If however, an applicant managed by H/WGTA be offered direct employment without joining the Apprenticeship programme, then your company will be subject to pay a recruitment fee of £700.

This recruitment fee will also apply if your company remove its Apprentice(s) from the programme before achievement, and they remain in employment within your organisation.

The fee will not apply where an Apprentice is dismissed or chooses to leave your employment.

Is there any training an Apprentice has to undergo before starting work for our company?

Before commencing employment all Apprentices must receive health and safety training.  This is delivered at H/WGTA as part of our induction process.  If however, as an employer you can demonstrate that you will be providing sufficient health and safety training for your Apprentice on their first day of employment, this may suffice.

What training will I be expected to give to an Apprentice?

Your Apprentice(s) will need an introduction to your company which should include; health and safety training; an introduction and briefing on your company policies and procedures; any expectations you have of them including behaviour, dress code etc.

In addition, there is the on-going training you will be expected to give to your Apprentice as you would any other employee.  However, it is important to remember that an Apprentice in the majority of cases would not have had experience of a professional working environment before, therefore they will need additional guidance and support to understand their role, the tasks they will be expected to carry out, and how they fit into your organisation.