With increased government funding, apprentices should be a real consideration when assessing recruitment options within a business. For non-levy paying employers the government will fund 95% of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice. If the apprenticeship started before 1 April 2019 they will fund 90%. Additionally, businesses do not pay employers national insurance for apprentices under the age of 25.
It is a common misconception that apprentices must be of a junior level. Apprenticeships are actually available from level 2 (GSCE equivalent) to level 6 (Bachelors equivalent) and level 7 (Masters equivalent). Apprenticeship are not only relevant for new employees; they can also be used to develop existing ones. As such they can be a good method of motivating staff and increasing staff retention. As long as an individual is studying at a level higher than any qualification they have already achieved they can study toward an apprenticeship. There is no upper age limit for an apprentice, but they must be 16 or older.
There are however some conditions that need to be met for an apprenticeship which may mean they are not appropriate for your business. An apprentice must work towards an approved apprenticeship standard or framework. They must also be paid for off-the-job training which can be no less than 20% of their apprenticeship, which can cause practical issues, but if managed can be limited.
If you would like further advice on employing apprentices please do not hesitate to contact our payroll department.