businessman arriving by jetpack

How to hire an apprentice

With the apprenticeship levy now in force, large businesses are collecting levy funds to spend on apprenticeship training.

How to hire an apprentice

businessman arriving by jetpack

There's never been a better time to hire an apprentice.  

Every month, thousands of large UK businesses are making mandatory apprenticeship levy payments to the National Apprenticeship Service – building a ‘kitty’ to invest in future training and development.  

Some firms make full use their contributions to upskill existing staff, or bag themselves a totally new apprentice. But others are missing out. Despite contributing every month, they aren’t sure what to do, and with levy payments, you either ‘use it within 24 months, or lose it’.  

To help you optimise levy contributions, our experts from OneFile are ‘going back to basics’ – answering the five most frequently asked questions they hear about: 'How do I hire an apprentice?' 

1. Attend recruitment fairs

Want access to all the best young recruits in your area? Head to a recruitment fair. This is a great way to speak to prospective apprentices, and a much more personal approach than sifting through CVs. There are loads of different job fairs across the country – from graduate events to sector-specific fairs – full of young people motivated to get serious about their careers. 

2. Make friends with the NAS 

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) provides an online portal for levy-paying employers to manage their account. NAS also provides details of apprenticeship training by job role and level, as well as training providers in your area who can help you deliver apprenticeship programmes. Each training provider is rated in terms of employer satisfaction, learner satisfaction and achievement rates, so you can easily assess your options. 

3. Recruit in-house

Sometimes what you’re looking for might be stood right in front of you. Think about whether you can offer apprenticeships as a way of training and upskilling existing staff, to gain the specific skills you need in your business. For example, the new higher and degree-level apprenticeships could be perfect for filling high-level skills gaps and developing the future leaders of your business. Why not speak to your team to find out if anyone is interested in completing an apprenticeship? 

4. Advertise the roles

Apprentices count as full-time employees as soon as they start, so you should advertise vacancies in the same way you would with any other job. These are great opportunities, so don’t be shy about promoting roles on job sites, your website, social media, and industry publications to maximise interest.  

5. Build partnerships

Two heads are often better than one and you might find it helpful to speak to organisations which already have significant experience of finding, training and managing apprenticeships and candidates. Speak to the colleges and training providers in your local area to find out what type of apprenticeships they deliver and how they can help you. The new apprenticeship standards involve lots of collaboration between the employer and training provider, so it's a good idea to build relationships before you get started. 

Finding a great apprentice is just the first step in what should be a longer-term relationship which is beneficial for both the learner and employer.  

Download this free guide to find out  everything you need to know about hiring an apprentice – including the responsibilities, benefits, funding and support available. 

Download guide

This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.