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Why and How To Recruit For Apprentice Jobs

Published: Friday 7th August 2015

Apprentice being shown how to code by a mentor

Apprentices are employees aged sixteen or above, who combine working for a business with part-time study for a qualification related to their field of employment. 

Many organisations, like Zoek’s parent company Brookfield Rose, are seeing the value that hiring apprentices can have on their business and are tying apprenticeship schemes into their other Corporate Social Responsibility policies.

By hiring an apprentice your business must allow them the following;

 Work amongst other experienced staff in your business
 Receive training to learn job-specific skills
 Be given time to study for a work-based qualification during their working week (usually one day a week at a college or training provider).

What To Look For In An Apprentice 

Someone seeking an apprentice job is likely to be a young person who has minimal, if any, work experience. Therefore the normal rules of what to look for in a candidate may not apply. However you may wish to look for the following qualities when recruiting for an apprentice vacancy. 

Although the apprentice might not have had a similar full-time job before, that doesn’t mean they aren’t necessarily able to demonstrate applicable skills from school-arranged work experience, weekend and holiday jobs or from helping out in a family business. 

Extra-curricular activities and voluntary experience may also be a good indicator of the skills they have and their commitment to the apprentice job at hand. For example, someone who has been a dedicated horse rider for years, or who has volunteered in a local animal shelter, will most likely already have relevant skills and be able to show real dedication to a role involving animals.

A vital part of hiring an apprentice is offering them the opportunity to work and learn alongside experienced members of staff, so it is important to recruit someone who has demonstrable teamwork skills. Also as apprenticeships last between 1-4 years, recruiting an apprentice requires a long-term commitment from employers so it is important to hire a candidate that displays enthusiasm for the role and is also willing to make the commitment required. 

How Much Does It Cost To Take On An Apprentice?

Hiring an apprentice costs a business less than half the National Minimum Wage for an employee aged 21 or over. Currently the National Minimum Wage for an apprentice is £2.73 per hour. 

Many businesses interested in hiring an apprentice can also apply for a grant to help fund the employment of up to five apprentices in England or Wales, if you have less than 50 employees and the apprentices are aged between16-24. 

Although it costs less to employ an apprentice, it would be short-term thinking to see recruiting an apprentice, rather than a more experienced employee, as the “cheap option”. You will need to show real commitment and dedication to your apprentice, who is likely to be a young school leaver or only have minimal work experience. 

How To Find An Apprentice

Once you have decided to take on an apprentice finding the right candidate is key. Draft a job specification you are happy with that includes information on what the apprentice will be doing day-to-day and also what qualification they will get upon completion.

By selecting a job search app like Zoek to advertise your apprentice vacancy, you are positioning yourself in front of a target audience who are already using mobile phones, more than laptops and tablets. Zoek is free for users to download on both iPhone and Android and with more than 42,000 downloads to date (Aug, 2015) gives you a huge audience to engage with.


For more information on posting job ads with Zoek contact our team today, or sign-up on our new Hirer Portal to start posting jobs now.

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