FAQs

How do I become involved in apprenticeships?

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be:

  • 16 or over
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education

There are 3 steps to applying for an apprenticeship.

  1. Search for an apprenticeship.
  2. Sign in or create an account.
  3. Complete and submit your application.

How do I recruit an apprentice?

There are several steps to taking on an apprentice.

  1. Choose an apprenticeships framework or standard for an apprenticeship in your industry and at a suitable level.
  2. Find a training organisation that offers apprenticeships for your industry – they’ll handle your apprentice’s training, qualification and assessment.
  3. Check you’re eligible for a grant and apply.
  4. Advertise your apprenticeship – your training organisation will do this for you through the find an apprenticeship service.
  5. Select your apprentice and make an apprenticeship agreement with them.

Are employers vetted and DBS checked?

Businesses must have liability insurance, set health and safety standards and ensure that the apprentice is working in a safe environment. Apprentices must be treated under the same employee legislation as normal employees. Larger businesses can’t be expected to DBS check all staff in order to take on an apprentice but provision must be put in place to ensure the safety of the apprentice.

Tailored Apprenticeships are difficult to find, do they cost more for a business than traditional frameworks?

Dependant on the programme, frameworks can be designed at a cost and delivery of tailored apprenticeships can be run through a number of training providers. It is important to discuss you requirements with a number of providers to see who can provide the most suitable framework, at the right cost.

Can apprentices be recruited internally?

Many apprentices are recruited from the existing workforce as a means of up-skilling employees. Higher level apprenticeships are available for internal staff and funding streams can vary dependent on level of qualification (this should be discussed with your chosen training provider).

How do we find the individuals with the skills required from the outset?

Recruitment is the key to finding the right apprentice. Advertising in the right places will ensure that suitable applicants apply for posts and paying a suitable salary will also mean that you get the right calibre of applicant. The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) can advertise for free using their website and this links directly to the Cornwall Apprenticeships website.  Social media will also help to reach your post to your target audience.

How should a job description be developed for an apprentice?

Similar to other employees, the job description should cover:

  • A broad range of duties
  • How long the apprenticeship is for
  • The training you’ll give them
  • Their working conditions
  • The qualifications they are working towards

Can apprentices be contracted on part time hours?

Ideally apprentices should be contracted on full time hours (30 hours) minimum per week, but Apprenticeships can be part time. However, training will take longer to allow the apprentice to complete the total training hours.

What percentage of the apprentice’s time is spent at college?

Time spent at college is dependant on the framework and requirements of the individual. Most frameworks look at one day a week for the first twelve months; this must be classed as working hours from an employer perspective. An assessor will visit the workplace every four to six weeks on average and the main aim is to suit the needs of the individual.

 What happens if an apprentice fails to achieve the qualification?

The employer and provider will work together to establish required outcomes and length of the apprenticeship programme. If outcomes are not being achieved, time extensions may be allowed or additional support may be put in place to help the apprentice complete their qualification.

How can a Small to Medium sized business manage HR processes and de-risk the recruitment process?

Services like the Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency can take on a HR role for an agreed amount, this includes recruiting the individual and managing employment (HR) related issues.

Can college days be provided in block sessions rather than one day a week?

Training providers will work with employers to look at the best way for the training to be delivered which best meet the requirements of the business. Some frameworks will be delivered one day per week at college whilst others are adaptable.

Can training available outside of Cornwall, still be accessed by businesses in the county?

Training can be accessed from any provider, though funding may be affected and it is the employer’s duty to support the apprentice to attend training in work time.

Can training providers support the recruitment process?

Most training providers have the capacity to help pre-sift applications and to work with the business to select the right individual to undertake an apprenticeship.

When is the best time of year to take on an apprentice?

Those who run set programmes may look to start the apprentice on a course from September.

Are there issues with funding apprentices in South East Cornwall due to apprentices crossing the border for training?

Cross border partnership work has been taking place with training providers in Plymouth with a focus on apprentices from Cornwall working and training in Plymouth and vice versa.

How does a training delivery company become a registered training provider?

Registration must take place through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the company should have a contract worth £0.5m+. If a company would like to deliver frameworks and delivery is worth less than £0.5m, registered training providers can work with the business to look at subcontracting training to meet demand.

Can companies with temporary contracts take on an apprentice?

Dependent on the time period left on the company’s contract, the apprentice must be able to gain their qualification in the set contract time and be supported to find another position within a different organisation. This should be discussed with the training provider at the time of sign-up and the apprentice should be made aware of the circumstance from the outset.

Are there insurance implications on a business when recruiting a younger apprentice?

Business should have liability insurance and providing the apprentice is provided with adequate workplace training to allow them to carry out their roles safely, there are no implications to employing an apprentice.

Can international apprenticeships be delivered in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly?

The apprenticeship status can only be given to an individual whose residence is within the UK.  This is aligned with national employment law.