If you are thinking of hiring an apprentice in to your team, no doubt you have many questions. Below are some of the more frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions, contract the Clinical School HR team.
What is an apprenticeship?
An Apprenticeship is a work-based learning programme where the apprentice is employed by the University and works towards a specific, nationally-recognised qualification. Further details can be found here.
How would my department benefit from an apprentice?
Apprenticeships offer an opportunity for departments to think long-term about hard-to-fill posts. They also develop a pipeline of talent, provide tailored training ensuring specially-qualified employees, bring vitality and a fresh perspective to the work environment, develop mentoring skills in existing staff and give back to the community by allowing its members the opportunity to reach their potential and advance their career prospects.
How does an apprentice fit into my department?
First and foremost, your department needs to identity a suitable role for an apprentice. An apprentice is a paid employee and must be employed for at least 30 hours per week, for a minimum of 13 months.
Does my department pay the salary?
Yes – an apprentice is your employee. All salary costs are met by the department.
Who pays for the training?
Government funding for the ‘off-the-job’ training is paid for through the Apprenticeship Levy. The Apprenticeship Levy is a UK tax on employers which can be used to fund apprenticeship training. In the current (2019/20) tax year it is payable by all employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million at a rate of 0.5% of their total pay bill.
How do I choose a training provider?
All the information about training providers can be obtained from: https://www.apprenticeships.admin.cam.ac.uk/managers/providers. A member of the Clinical School recruitment team will be able to help you identify the most suitable training provider, guide you through the selection process and assist you in the event that you may need to change training providers part-way through the Apprenticeship.
What is ‘off the job’ training?
Anyone doing apprenticeship based training will spend at least 20% of their time on Off The Job (OTJ) training. Apprentices don’t need to be called away from their job one day a week – in fact, they don’t even need to leave the office.
Off-the-job training refers to any activity relevant to the job but not covered by day-to-day tasks.
How do I manage an apprentice?
To ensure the success of your Apprenticeship programme, you need to put the apprentice at the heart of the programme and build in effective and appropriate support mechanisms.
In particular, very young apprentices with no prior experience of the working environment will need extra support and pastoral care.
Providing the right practical support and guidance to an apprentice will help ensure they settle in well, develop within the University and help contribute to its success.
You can do this by:
- Providing a well-thought-through induction
- Giving apprentices a clear outline of expectations and a safe supportive environment to learn and develop
- Encouraging them from the start to own and drive their learning targets and to seek regular feedback to self-assess their performance
- Providing apprentices with the workplace experience needed to develop the skills and knowledge included in their apprenticeship
- Allowing time for their 20% off-the-job learning activities
- Supporting the completion of relevant projects
- Meeting with them regularly to provide feedback and review progress
- Being approachable and understanding
- Liaising regularly with the training provider
- Putting a workplace mentor in place to further support the apprentice
What happens at the end of the apprenticeship?
There a number of different options as to what could happen. These include:
- If you would like to retain your apprentice and recruit them into a role within the department, then this role would have to be advertised. You could advertise for 14 days and to internal applicants only
- The apprentice may decide to leave the University at the end of the fixed term contract
- If the apprentice would like to stay within the university but there is no job available in the department, the Clinical School HR team would offer a redeployment service to assist them in their search for employment elsewhere.