The Dos and Don'ts Of Recruiting An Apprentice

Written on: 6 July 2017
Written by:Amanda McCombie

Looking to Recruit an apprentice? We've created a helpful guide on what to do, and more importantly, what not to do during the recruitment process to help you on your way and ensure success!

DO research training providers and find one who delivers relevant apprenticeships in your sector.

There are apprenticeships in all kinds of sectors, from IT to landscaping. Not all providers deliver them all, so do your research and find a provider who delivers the right type of apprenticeship you’re looking for.

DO be detailed in your job description.

Just like any other member of staff, your apprentice will be employed to do a job within your company, so treat the recruitment process just like any other, and fully describe the type of candidate you are looking for. Going into detail regarding the position advertised ensures you get the right people with the right interests applying. By definition, an apprenticeship is a job with training, so this must be reflected in the job description.

DON'T overvalue experience and qualifications.

Yes, your apprentice will be another employee, but unlike other staff, they may have little to no experience in the workplace and just the qualifications achieved at school. Allowances for this must be made and you must remember this experience and those qualifications are why they want to start their work journey with you!

DO look for passion and enthusiasm.

What a candidate lacks in workplace experience and qualifications, they should make up for in enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Use your interview time to identify whether their personality and attitude will work well within your business and the rest will follow.

DON'T rely on traditional interviews.

Interviews are scary places, especially for a prospective apprentice who may have never been formally interviewed before. Instead of a formal sit-down interview which could intimidate the candidate, use this time to get the most out of them and get to know them, this could be through team-building exercises and problem solving tasks, giving you a chance to see their abilities, potential leadership skills and how well they interact with others without those interview nerves!

DO understand your apprentice’s rights.

When you take on an apprentice, they become an employee like all of the rest and therefore are entitled to the same employee rights. Although they will still be training during their apprenticeship, they are entitled to receive a regular wage and still entitled to holidays, fair hours and breaks. There is a national minimum wage for apprentices which is currently £3.70 per hour, however we do recommend paying more than that.

DON’T settle on the first candidate you see (unless they are fantastic of course!)

The interview process is your opportunity to really find out about the candidates, so take full advantage and see as many as possible. Your training provider will manage the recruitment process and only put candidates forward who they think will fit the job description. They will pre-screen each candidate to ensure you see the best of the bunch so make sure you see them all!

DO check how much funding you will receive.

You will receive a government incentive of £1000 for recruiting an apprentice aged 16-18, and their training may be fully covered by government funding providing you have less than 50 employees. Employers can check their eligibility here, and learn how they can get up to 90% of funding covered.

DON’T leave them to “just get on with it.”

Yes, your apprentice will receive outside training provided by your training provider however you have a duty to guide and assist them throughout their time with you. Teach them about the field they have chosen to work in and give them the tools to progress, both with their assignments and beyond.


Written on: 6 July 2017
Written by:Amanda McCombie