Preparing your business for an apprentice

Recent research has suggested that an apprentice will help your business to earn, on average, an additional £214 per week during their first year. There can be other benefits too.

A recent study said 96% of employers which have recruited an apprentice have reported benefits to their business, with 72% reporting an increase in productivity as a direct result of employing an apprentice (Source: National Apprenticeships)

Recruiting an apprentice

An apprenticeship contract is a minimum of 30 hours per week. Apprentices must be aged 16 or older, but there is no upper age restriction. Funding for training apprentices over the age of 19 may be restricted. The unique way in which Skills Made Easy works means we can often secure funding for older apprentices which would otherwise not be possible.


Salary entitlements are based upon the age of your apprentice and the amount of time they have worked as an apprentice. All apprentices aged between 16-18 and any apprentice aged over 19 during the first twelve months of their training are entitled to receive the national minimum apprentice wage, which is currently £3.50 per hour (raising to £3.70 per hour in April 2018).

When an apprentice reaches their 19th birthday, or has spent over twelve months working as an apprentice, they will be entitled to receive the national minimum wage for their age. You can find out more here.

Employment contract

An apprenticeship contract can differ slightly to a standard employment contract and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the legal contract is in place. Skills Made Easy can support you by providing a template employment contract, which is aimed at apprentices.


If you are a sole trader and recruiting for the first time, remember that you will need to have appropriate insurance for your business. Employment Liability cover is essential if your business is employing staff for the first time. Your account manager can offer support and guidance.

Holiday entitlements and sick pay

Your apprentice will be legally entitled to receive statutory paid holiday pay entitlements. This is currently 20 days paid holiday per annum, plus bank holidays.

HR policies

It is good practice for businesses to have clear policies when it comes to HR. We want to make recruiting an apprentice as easy as possible for your business, and if you don’t already have any formal policies and procedures in place, we will provide you with model policies.

Health & Safety

As an employer it is important to provide a safe working environment for your employees. If you haven’t previously employed a member of staff, Skills Made Easy provides a free health and safety check