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Recruiting an apprentice

Apprenticeships help bring valuable skills into your business with the government's support.

They’re suitable for people at any level so you can hire someone new or upskill an existing employer. All you need to do is create an apprenticeship service account to hire an apprentice. Watch our webinar to learn more about recruitment and promoting apprenticeship vacancies.

You can then:

You can manage the recruitment process or ask your training provider to manage it on your behalf.

An apprentice must:

  • be 16 or over
  • not already be in full-time education
  • be living in England

Thinking of hiring a school leaver?

If you are thinking of hiring a school leaver into an apprenticeship, here's some tips to ensure that you get the best candidate.

If you know when you will need your apprentice to start:

  • the best time to advertise is between September and January, the year before you need the position filled, we recognise that this won’t be always possible for smaller employers who need to fill their vacancies quickly
  • this will provide more recruitment time to find the ideal candidate, providing you and your provider more time to set up and bring apprentices into the organisation
  • this will also help you and your brand stand out from other employers who advertise later in the year and attract students while still at school and before they start their busy exams period.

If you recruit all year round or don't know in advance when you'll need someone:

  • you can reach out to local schools to initiate an ongoing relationship, so they can introduce your organisation to students
  • you can also reach out to your local network (e.g., Mayoral Combined Authority), who can work with you to give you access to a pool of people who are looking for roles today!

Once you have selected your candidate:

  • don't wait for the apprenticeship to start to make them feel part of your organisation
  • reach out and stay in touch - a motivated, welcomed apprentice will be more receptive to learning and adding value to your organisation.

If you'd like to find out more, visit the Association of Apprentices. They've created free content and resources, including work preparation.

Set realistic expectations:

  • recognise that most school leavers will require additional support in their first few months
  • reach out to them to understand their requirements and ensure that you have resources in place to support them
  • appoint a mentor to ensure they always have someone to go to for when they need support.

If you are an employer with an Apprenticeship programme you can join the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (AAN), where you can connect with experienced apprenticeship employers, to network, share knowledge and best practice and attend events including those at schools and colleges.
The AAN’s remit is to inspire, excite, and galvanise greater numbers of employers and individuals to connect with apprenticeships.

Find an apprentice using a Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Agency

Flexi-Job Apprenticeships are designed for host employers to take on an apprentice without the need to employ them directly. You can host an apprentice on a short-term placement using an agency on the Register of Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Agencies.

Find an apprentice using social media or open days

There are other ways to find an apprentice and increase the diversity of your applicants. For example, you can:

  • hold open days
  • arrange visits to schools, colleges and universities
  • use social media
  • participate in careers events, like WorldSkills UK Live


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