Small Businesses ‘Realising the Benefit’ of Employing Apprentices

Small Businesses ‘Realising the Benefit’ of Employing Apprentices

UK employers are beginning to realise the benefits that apprentices can bring to their business, according to a report by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) published today. The survey of 501 small business owners across all sectors found that 39% took on at least one new apprentice within the last 12 months, and while this figure drops to 16% when micro-businesses are considered, 43% of all small to medium sized companies retained their apprentice as full-time member of staff. The figures suggest that apprentices are becoming more of an attractive option for businesses with 25% of respondents having said that they plan to take on at least one apprentice over the next year. Despite the positive trend, concerns have been raised over possible barriers preventing businesses from ... »

Apprentices to be Taken on for Minimum of 12 Months

Business owners taking on young apprentices will be required to run schemes for a minimum of 12 months under new rules unveiled by the Government. The new standards will mean that apprenticeships for those aged 19 and over will now be required to last between one to four years while apprenticeships for 16- to 18-year-olds will need to run for a minimum of a year. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that the rules were being changed to “raise the bar on standards” amongst UK apprenticeship schemes. “The majority of apprenticeships are the gold standard in vocational training,” said Skills Minister John Hayes. “They boost individuals’ life chances and build the skills that drive growth.” “But we must be relentless in our dri... »

New Minimum Wage Rate and New Rate for Apprentices

The Government has confirmed that it has accepted the recommendations from the Low Pay Commission (LPC) on the new rates for the National Minimum Wage, as referred to in yesterday’s Budget. The new rates, which will come into force on 1 October 2010 will be: £5.93 per hour for low paid workers aged 21 and over (a 2.2% increase on the current £5.80 rate); £4.92 per hour for 18-20 year olds (a 1.9% increase on the current £4.83 rate); and £3.64 per hour for 16-17 year olds (a 2% increase on the current £3.57 rate. The Government also announced that it had accepted the LPC’s recommendation to introduce an apprentice minimum wage of £2.50 per hour. The new rate will apply to those apprentices who are under 19 or those that are aged 19 and o... »

Measure the Profitability of Apprentices

Employers who take on apprentices can now measure their return on investment (ROI), following the launch of a free online calculator by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). The Return on Investment Calculator works by estimating the average costs of employing and training an apprentice, against the gains that come when the apprentice’s productivity starts to make an impact on the business. While it does not give specific costs for each employer, the calculator is designed to help firms work out the costs and benefits of hiring an apprentice by asking a series of questions about pay and industry sector. It is based on research and case studies of employers in six sectors, including hospitality, engineering and retail. “Apprenticeships are an investment with lasting rewards... »

Last Call for Apprentices and their Employers

Outstanding apprentices and their employers are being urged to enter the Apprenticeship Awards, as the deadline for nominations is fast approaching. The Awards, run by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and sponsored by City & Guilds, celebrate the achievements of apprentices and the businesses that employ them. With the closing date for applications on 26 February, time is running out for people to become Apprenticeship stars. So far, 909 people and organisations in England have registered to nominate for the Awards, but more are encouraged to put themselves forward. The regional Awards ceremonies will be taking place at locations up and down the country where lucky winners from each of the eight categories, including Regional Apprentice of the Year and Small Employer of the Ye... »

Apprenticeships - Good for Business

New Scheme Recognises Apprentice Employers

Employers are today being honoured with the launch of a new ’badge’ that recognises their employment of apprentices. The apprentice employers’ badge, supported by the British Chambers of Commerce, can be displayed by firms on their website and stationary to highlight their commitment to Apprenticeships. Consumers will also be able to go on to the Apprenticeships website to find businesses that support young people by hiring apprentices. The news comes as a new survey by the National Apprenticeship Service shows more than three-quarters of people in England say they are more likely to use a business or service if it offers Apprenticeships to young people (80%), while more than nine in ten say it is important to support young people by taking on apprentices during the reces... »

Apprentices get Minimum Wage Boost

The minimum pay rate for apprentices has been increased from £80 to £95 per week, in an attempt to encourage more young people into training. The rise was introduced on 1st August and means that employers are now required to pay apprentices at least £95 a week. While the increase is not legally binding for employers, those that do not comply may find that their Government apprenticeship funding is affected, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), which campaigned for the pay rise. “The rise will particularly benefit female employees, who are most likely to be paid at the lowest rate,” said a TUC spokesman. “While the average UK apprenticeship pay rate is £170 a week, female apprentices in trades such as hairdressing and childcare typically re... »

Skills Commission - Apprentices

Inquiry into Progression Pathways of Apprentices

The Skills Commission has launched a major new inquiry to examine training and career progression routes for apprentices and whether the system is well-placed to meet our future skills needs. The Commission’s inquiry is timely given the Government’s commitment to ensure that every suitably-qualified young person can obtain an apprentice place by 2013 with a clear target of 400,000 apprentices in learning by 2020. And with this emphasis now being placed on the importance of expanding the number of apprentices, there is a real and growing need to ensure not only that people take up Apprenticeship places but that they progress through the system into Advanced Apprenticeships, Higher Education and on into careers. The inquiry, to be chaired by Sir William Taylor and with support fr... »