National Apprenticeship Week 2019 (NAW 2019) will take place between 4th and 8th March 2019.

The aim of NAW 2019 is to celebrate the various Apprenticeship schemes throughout the country and aims to bring the whole apprenticeship community together in order to celebrate the impact of apprenticeships on both individuals and employers and also on the economy as a whole.

An Apprenticeship is a way for someone to gain the skills, knowledge and experience which are needed if they want to get into a specific career. They combine work, training, and study, letting the apprentice earn while they learn.

There are a variety of different apprenticeships available throughout various different industries and for a wide range of job roles. As a paid employee, each Apprentice works at the same time as studying.

Another advantage for the Apprentice is that there are no student fees. These are covered by you as the employer and by the Government.

 

Employing an Apprentice

It’s not just the traditional industries and larger organisations that are opting to go down the route of having an apprenticeship program in place. Smaller businesses are also discovering that it is an advantageous way of recruiting and training staff.

Now, apprenticeships cover more than 170 different industries and 1,500 different job roles, from entry level all the way up to degree level.

So, whatever business or industry you are in, there are all sorts of different benefits that apprentices can bring to you and your business. Employing an apprentice could definitely be a wise investment move for the future of your business.

 

Wages For An Apprentice

You must pay the Apprentice at least the UK National Minimum Wage for the Apprentice’s age group, which are currently as follows: –

 

CURRENT RATES

Apprenticeship Rate = £3.70

Minimum Wage Rate for Under 18s = £4.20

Minimum Wage Rate for 18 to 20 = £5.90

Minimum Wage Rate for 21 to 24 = £7.38

Minimum Wage Rate for Over 25s = £7.83

 

However, don’t forget that these rates will change in April 2019 to: –

 

NEW RATES FROM APRIL 2019

Apprenticeship Rate = £3.90

Minimum Wage Rate for Under 18s = £4.35

Minimum Wage Rate for 18 to 20 = £6.15

Minimum Wage Rate for 21 to 24 = £7.70

Minimum Wage Rate for Over 25s = £8.21

 

The Apprenticeship Rate applies to those Apprentices who are: –

 

  • Aged 19 years or under;
  • Aged 19 years or over and in the first year of their Apprenticeship.

 

For example, an Apprentice aged 22 years who is in the first year of their Apprenticeship will receive a minimum hourly rate of £3.70.

 

Apprentices are entitled to the Minimum Wage Rate for their age group if they: –

 

  • Are aged 19 or over; and
  • Have completed the first year of their Apprenticeship.

 

For example, an Apprentice aged 22 years who has completed the first year of their Apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £7.38.

 

Of course, if you wish to pay the Apprentice more than the minimum requirement, then you can certainly do so.

 

Don’t forget the Rate Change in April 2019 though.

 

In order to complete their Apprenticeship, the Apprentice must: –

  • Work with experienced staff;
  • Learn job-specific skills;
  • Study during their working week (e.g. at a college or a training centre).

 

What Are The Benefits Of Employing An Apprentice?

“Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way for any organisation to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Employers who have an established apprenticeship programme reported that productivity in their workplace had improved by 76%, whilst 75% reported that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service.” – National Apprenticeship Service

 

There are also many other benefits of hiring an Apprentice, including: –

 

  • 90% of apprentices will stay on in their place of work after completing their apprenticeship;

 

  • Businesses are able to customise the training that their apprentice receives according to the needs and requirements of their business;

 

  • An apprenticeship allows businesses to diversify and freshen up their workforce;

 

  • Businesses can employ apprentices aged 16 years and over, up to any age and from any background.

 

So, if you have thought about hiring an apprentice, perhaps now is the time to do something about it.

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