What is an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are a cost-effective, high quality way to attract and retain talent within your business. An apprenticeship allows young people and adults to train in a real job, gain real qualifications and earn a wage whilst they do so. It allows you to boost your workforce at a lower cost and ensure that you are recruiting the most suitable candidates as apprentices.
What are the advantages for my business?
Employing an apprentice allows you to:
- Reduce training and recruitment costs.
- Increase productivity and your bottom line.
- Develop a skilled, motivated and qualified workforce.
- Choose your apprentice’s learning so that they develop the skills that your company needs.
Whilst each apprenticeship has set content, it will be tailored to suit your specific business needs. Damar will work with you to ensure that the training undertaken by your apprentices works for your business.
How much will it cost?
The principal cost to employers is the apprentice’s salary. Although the minimum wage is as little as £3.50 per hour (as of June 2017) for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship, most employers that we work with pay more. We’re happy to advise on the appropriate wage. If an apprentice is 19 or over and past their first year, they must be paid at least the full National Minimum Wage for their age.
Local and national grants are also available from time to time for businesses recruiting apprentices, particularly if you haven't had apprentices before.
If the apprentice is aged under 19 on enrolment, the Government pays all of the costs of associated training. For apprentices aged 19 and over on enrolment, partial government funding is available in most cases where the apprentice doesn’t have qualifications higher than A level. Graduates are not eligible for funding. Damar has a direct contract for the delivery of apprenticeships with the Skills Funding Agency (part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills).
For eligible apprentices aged 19 and over, Damar usually charges an employer contribution; the amount varies depending on the level and length of the apprenticeship and whether or not we are also providing support with recruitment.
How much time is spent on training?
This varies between courses and individual needs. In almost all cases, your apprentice will have a monthly training and assessment session in the workplace with their Damar trainer. Visits usually take take about two hours and additional support is available by telephone and email between visits. Between visits, apprentices will have further work set for them. Some of this will be guided online learning using our web-based learning environment, Damar OpenClass and other web-based resources. If you have a group of apprentices following the same programme, we may suggest some additional on-site sessions, particularly in the run-up to exams. Our accounts apprentices attend our Stockport centre for day release (usually twice a month) in addition to 1:1 visits (these are slightly less frequent for accounts students).
What happens at the end of the Apprenticeship?
We are pleased to say that nearly all of our apprentices remain in full time employment at the end of their apprenticeship - many take on additional responsibility and some progress to further study. However, whether you choose to employ your apprentice on a permanent contract from day one or a fixed term contract for the duration of their apprenticeship is up to you. In our experience though, employers get the most value from an apprenticeship if it forms part of a long term strategy to "grow" the apprentice well beyond the duration of the apprenticeship.
Why is it better than using a recruitment agency?
Finding your own candidates can be resource hungry and leaves you with less time to focus on your business. Damar candidates come to us because they want a job and training – they are motivated to learn as well as earn. We work with you to ensure that your recruitment is automatically integrated with training to give you the best possible chance of success with your new member of staff.
How will you work with us?
During the recruitment and planning process, we work with you to design the training programme and delivery timetable for the apprentices. The “off the job” training is delivered through a blend of learning methods - including online, 1:1, small group work and telephone/email support from our tutors.
Because each of our customers is different, every programme is tailored to your requirements. Regardless of the size of your organisation, we will always:
- Carry out a full analysis of your needs and agree the programme objectives with you up front.
- Tailor the apprenticeship qualification so that each employee develops skills relevant to his or her job role.
- Provide much of the training in the form of one to one visits from our trainer.
- Enrol students at a time to suit you – we are not restricted to the academic calendar. Most courses take between twelve and twenty-four months.
- Keep you informed of your apprentice's progress and review with you how we have performed against the objectives agreed at the outset. The trainer remains a constant point of contact for the apprentice and the employer throughout the programme. In addition your relationship manager (often, the member of Damar's business development team who helped at the start of the programme) will stay in touch.
We provide an end-to-end recruitment service which includes advertising your apprenticeship vacancy, carrying out initial assessments and shortlisting candidates that match your criteria, saving you time and money from the outset.
For larger employers we can create a branded apprenticeship programme for you to roll out to staff. This can then be integrated with existing in-house training, enabling employers to offer a comprehensive and cost-effective staff development package that leads to nationally recognised qualifications.
Service level agreements and regular large programme review meetings also form part of our service for larger employers.
Call a member of our business development team on 0161 480 8171, get in touch via the link below or contact our managing director, Jonathan Bourne direct at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to meet you, without obligation, to run through your staff development and recruitment needs. You can watch our webinar on best practice in apprentice recruitment here.