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Lots of businesses are aware of apprenticeships but don’t really know how they work! Therefore, they’re often skeptical about having an apprentice in their business. Here, you will find everything you will need to know about apprenticeships and the benefits of taking someone on.


Firstly, apprenticeships are a cost-effective way of employing a new full-time member of staff. The minimum wage for an apprentice is £4.30 an hour.

If you employ them to work 37.5 hours a week, for 52 weeks, they will earn £8,385 in their first year. After the first year on their course, the employer will be required to pay the national minimum wage for their age.

As an added extra from the government, if you take on a 16-18-year-old you will receive a £1,000 incentive. The government also covers the vast majority of the training costs; if you pay into the levy then the entirety of the training costs will be drawn down from your levy pot. If you do not pay levy, then you will only pay 5% of the training costs with the government paying the remaining 95%.

For smaller businesses: if you are a non-levy paying company, have fewer than 50 employees, and take on a 16-18-year-old, you will pay no training fees!

Free recruitment service with SCCU

When you’re thinking about taking on a new member of staff, it’s not only the wages you have to pay for but also the recruitment element and paying for advertisements.

At SCCU, you can utilise our free recruitment service, Talent Bank, to find you the best candidates. Just let us know the apprenticeship you require within your business, and we can advertise your role. We will also shortlist the candidates to your requirements and help arrange and invite candidates to interview. All you are required to do is interview them and pick a candidate best suited to your business.

Upskilling current members of staff

Apprenticeships are not just for recruiting; you can also use them to upskill current members of staff. If you have staff that would benefit from some extra training; whether you need a new team leader but do not want to recruit a new member of staff, or would like to promote a current staff member and they only require a few extra skills, an apprenticeship is an easy and hugely cost-effective way of doing it. Your staff won’t even have to go off sight for long periods of time, they’ll just need a few hours a month with their tutor. Currently, with Covid19 restrictions, we are working 100% remotely so all tutorials are taken place via a video call.

Their training costs are covered in the same way, so you’ll only pay up to 5% of their training costs.

Making good use of your levy pot

You either have to use it or lose it! If you don’t use your levy funding then a certain percentage will start to be taken back after 18 months. If you’re a levy paying company, the cost of the apprentice training will come out of your levy pot. You are required to pay money into your levy pot each month regardless, so why not use it to benefit your business!

Extra perks of having an apprentice

In 2017, the apprenticeship evaluation survey found that around 80% of the employers using apprentices found that they improve productivity, and around 75% of employers using apprentices found the apprentices improved staff morale.

This is often because having an apprentice gives other members of staff the chance to mentor someone, giving them extra roles and responsibilities allowing them to demonstrate leadership skills and feel more valued in the business.

When you have apprentices, recruited or upskilled, the staff turnover numbers are recorded as being lower, because an employee will be more loyal to an employer they believe is invested in their personal development.

You can mould an apprentice to your business, no matter their age! As they’re learning, you can shape them to your culture, tailor their learning to the skills you need in your business.

If you would like to know more about apprenticeships, give our office a call and speak to one of our business development advisors! They can show you how an apprentice can fit into your company! Alternatively, you can visit our website or drop us an email.


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