Apprenticeships are government subsidised training programmes for individuals aged 16 – 24 who do not already hold a degree level qualification. The majority of the funding is reserved for 16 – 18 year olds, with restricted provision for those aged 19 and over.
Any Apprenticeship involves the formation of a partnership between the host organisation (employer), Herefordshire and Worcestershire Group Training Association (HWGTA), and the apprentice. The employer and HWGTA must work together to ensure a full programme is delivered.
Under the terms of our contract with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), HWGTA has a duty to ensure that employers who work with us on our apprenticeship programmes are aware of the statutory provisions and regulations for apprenticeship training.
The following questions and answers cover the KEY POINTS that are part of the contractual agreement:
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 HWGTA for our investigation, so that we may meet our obligation to monitor accidents.
Do I have to employ my apprentice?
All apprentices must be employed. Each apprentice must be in receipt of a Contract of Employment within 8 weeks of starting their position (i.e. a time bound contract to provide training under an apprenticeship agreement). HWGTA 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. HWGTA will provide a template of the contract at the start 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.