Recruiting an apprentice is an effective way for businesses to grow their own talent, whilst also developing individuals who will fill future gaps in the workforce. However, by employing an apprentice, every business has responsibilities to meet – including a duty to ensure they’re paid the correct wage.
Every April, the Government updates the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage. If your apprentice is 16 years of age or older, they’re entitled to the minimum wage for apprentices which is currently £3.50 per hour.
The current rates are as follows:
|Year||25 and over||21 to 24||18 to 20||Under 18||Apprentice|
In addition to paying the correct wage, the main responsibilities of an employer towards their apprentice are:
- Providing an induction and continued on-the-job training
- Ensuring that there is a signed Apprenticeship Agreement in place which outlines how long the apprenticeship is for, the training they’ll receive, their working conditions and the qualification they’re working towards
- Paying at least the National Minimum Wage (although some businesses choose to pay more)
- Extending the same benefits to apprentices as other employees receive such as sick pay, paid holiday and childcare scheme vouchers
- Offering apprentices the opportunity to opt into a workplace pension scheme, if they meet the eligibility criteria
- Ensuring the apprentice is paid for the time they spend training and studying for their qualification e.g when they attend college
Apprentices bring many benefits to an employer, over and above reducing recruitment costs. Other benefits include lower staff turnover within the business, and boosting morale. A report by the Centre for Economic and Business Research concluded that the average apprenticeship completer increased business productivity by £214 per week!
So, whilst employers do have a responsibility to ensure they’re giving their apprentices a fair deal, the benefits of hiring an apprentice have positive and far-reaching consequences for the businesses they join.
Looking to recruit an apprentice for your team? Get started today!