Young people are among the hardest hit during the Coronavirus pandemic. A staggering one third of all 18-24-year olds have lost their job or have been furloughed. And then there are all those leaving school or University and joining a jobs market where there are virtually no new jobs.

Whilst recruitment is probably not at the top of your business agenda, as many companies are reducing hours or making painful redundancies, there is a clearly a better opportunity to recruit talented and enthusiastic individuals than there has ever been.

And what’s more there is help available as well. the Government’s Kickstarter Scheme aims to prevent the younger generation being left behind and rewards companies for employing them. The Kickstarter Scheme is effectively one of four grants available to employers:

  • For each “kickstarter” job, the government will cover the cost of 25 hours work a week for those aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit. This will be paid based on National Minimum wage £4.55 for under 18’s, £6.45 for 18 to 20-year olds and £8.20 for 21 to 24-year olds. Employers will be able to top up that payment if they wish.
  • The Government will pay businesses £1,000 for every trainee taken on who is aged 16 to 24.
  • For every new apprentice aged under 24, the Government will pay £2,000 to employers. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 the government already provides to 16-18-year-old apprentices.
  • For every new apprentice over 25, the Government will pay £1,500 to employers.

There will be no cap on the number of places available through the scheme, therefore all businesses big or small are being urged to sign up and recruit as many ‘kickstarters’ as possible.

For more details, head over to our article here that goes into more details surrounding these grants.

Employing young talent doesn’t just provide you with incentives from the Government, but it’s invaluable for looking at the long-term future of your business.

Young people will be enthusiastic and raring to go, haven’t developed any bad business habits or had a glass ceiling set that ends up with them not reaching their full potential. And they’ll grow with your business. We still have trainees from when we first started our business with us today!

Below our HR Specialist, Donna, has detailed, compared and walked through the process of taking on apprenticeships and traineeships so you can see which would best suit your business needs.

What is an Apprenticeship?

  • Apprenticeships tend to be longer than traineeships, lasting one to three years and specific to a certain skilled trade
  • Tend to involve four days a week of work experience, with one day a week devoted to studying
  • Normally offered on a full-time contract which is paid at the apprenticeship rate
  • Apprentices will qualify with a specific qualification
  • Opportunity to recruit the apprentice on a permanent contract once the initial contract has finished and qualification gained
  • Support provided by the external training provider

The process of taking on an apprentice

The process of taking on an apprenticeship is potentially the most difficult part of the process, as you need to consider a few extra steps compared to the normal recruitment process if you have never taken on an apprentice before.

We have outlined some basic steps below that you need to follow when taking on your first apprentice:

1. Identify the role

It is important to identify where the apprentice will fit into your business from entry level to a more senior role that you want to develop.

An apprentice or trainee is someone learning how to do a specialised job through on the job training under the guidance of another experienced employee or a group of experienced employees, depending on your set up.

You will need to make sure that the experienced employees are prepared and are able to train the new apprentice as this individual will need to adhere to workplace procedures, systems as well as following health and safety guidance with the ability to update training records while completing tasks to gain a qualification.

If you have never recruited an apprentice before, you may find this tough and worry about keeping the apprentice busy especially within their first few weeks, but it will take time and as long as you have a plan for their development, and the employee mentoring the apprentice is accountable for their training, then you will succeed.

2. Be aware of the apprenticeship rules

In the early stage of the process you will need to keep in the mind the basic rules for employing an apprentice. New apprentices must be 16 years or older and will have all the rights of your existing employees, including their rate of pay. Which must be at least the National Minimum Wage for apprentices their age.

3. Identify the apprenticeship programme that fits into your business

There are hundreds of different apprenticeship standards for all industries that can be mapped to specific occupations. There will certainly be an apprenticeship programme that would benefit your business, it is a case of identifying the best one!

4. Finding the right training provider

Once you have an idea of which apprenticeship programme would benefit your business the most, the next stage would be to identify a training provider who can provide guidance for setting up your programme, provide support in understanding the funding options, and in some case provide guidance on the recruitment of your new apprentice.

5. Putting together an apprenticeship agreement

Following the recruitment of your apprentice with the support from your training provider, an apprenticeship agreement needs to be signed which is a legal requirement. The agreement is a contract of employment between yourself, the employer and the apprentice.

In addition, there should be an apprenticeship commitment statement which would be signed by the apprentice, training provider and yourself to make sure all parties are committed to fulfilling the apprenticeship programme.

If you are unsure what route to develop an apprentice in, then recruiting an individual on a traineeship may be the better option for you.

What is a Traineeship?

Traineeships are intended to get people into their first job after education to develop their skills for future employment.

Traineeships are part of the same family as apprenticeships and seen as the pathway into providing the right skills and work experience to move onto the next stage.

  • Traineeships are aimed at 16 to 24 years olds
  • The placement can last from six weeks up to six months
  • Trainees may complete a maximum of 240 hours of work experience over six months
  • Employers are not required to pay the trainees, unlike with an apprenticeship where the minimum wage is £4.15 per hour
  • They are delivered as a partnership between employers and training providers
  • Trainee’s will receive on the job training for a specific job, rather than a field which would be covered within the apprenticeship programme
  • The content of the training is designed around the needs of the young person
  • Any trainee who has not achieved a GCSE in English or Maths are required to do this as part of the programme
  • At the end of the traineeship, the employer may wish to interview for the possibility of a permanent position within the company or to start an apprenticeship

The process of taking on a trainee

The process is fairly similar to that of taking on an apprentice. You’ll need to:

  1. Identify the role
  2. Contact the National Apprenticeship Service to register your interest for traineeships
  3. Find a training organisation to design a traineeship to meet your needs and they’ll advertise the work experience placement for you
  4. Agree with the trainee and your trainee organisation exactly what you need and expect from the placement

We can help you

If you still can’t decide between the two or need some further support in recruiting for your first apprenticeship or traineeship, please email our HR specialist

Recruiting may be at the bottom of your list at the moment but recruiting a new young person may be just what your business needs to diversify, freshen up your team and create a working culture of loyalty, commitment and improved productivity.

Donna Bygrave

Contact me today!

Donna Bygrave

Personnel and Training Manager

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