Hiring An Apprentice

What are Apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship is a way for young people and older members of your workforce to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future.

Hiring apprentices helps your business to grow your own talent by developing a motivated, skills and qualified workforce.

Quality is key to apprenticeships – providing high quality training that benefits both apprentices and employers.

Economic benefits – tell your supply chains and “Make a Link”!

More than 100,000 employers, in over 160,000 workplaces, currently use apprenticeships to attract new talent, re-skill existing staff and tackle skill shortages. Apprenticeships are available to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors in England.

Employment is a fundamental part of an apprenticeship. An apprentice must be employed in a job role with a productive purpose.

Improve your bottom line

Apprenticeships deliver real return on your bottom line, helping to improve productivity and competitiveness. Training can also be more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs.

Fill your skills gaps

Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business needs providing the skilled workers you need for the future. They also help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.

Motivate your workforce

Apprentices tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them.  Remember, an apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and have the commitment to a specific career.


There has never been a better time to employ an apprentice and help the government with their target to recruit 3 million apprentices by 2020.  There is a skills system in place that offers a range of quality services to employers. These include:

  1. Business organisational analysis to help identify opportunities
  2. Recruitment and selection
  3. Assessments
  4. Training and skills assessment

The Isle of Wight College is a “Good College” graded by Ofsted we also hold the Prestigious Beacon College status for excellence and innovation in education and have the College-wide accreditation to the coveted Matrix Standard.

  • Apprenticeships develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
  • Businesses that offer apprenticeships view them as beneficial to their long-term development.
  • According to the British Chambers of Commerce, most employ an apprentice to improve the skills base within their business.
  • Apprentices are supported by quality training from highly skilled lecturers and assessors.
  • Nearly every employer that takes on an apprentices (96%) reports benefits to their business.
  • 72% of businesses report improved productivity as a result of employing an apprentice.
  • Apprenticeships are boosting productivity by enabling businesses to grow their skills base.

How Do I Recruit an Apprentice?

There are some key elements to consider before you recruit an apprentice.

Ensure your business has a belief in apprenticeships and their worth and be prepared to invest in them.

Spend time looking at roles that might be suitable for apprentices. You may have temping roles that you could develop into an apprenticeships or a certain facet of the business that is growing and needs support developing.

You can recruit an apprentice in a number of ways but by using Isle of Wight College we can save you time and resource on your behalf. We offer a vacancy matching service where we will work with you to develop the apprenticeship that you have in mind to offer. We will then post it on the National Apprenticeship Service Website for you along with Isle of Wight jobs.com and the college’s website and social media channels.

Each candidate will go through initial assessments for functional skills in English, maths and ICT if needed along with a short interview process, ensuring you receive the perfect match for your vacancy, saving you time and money as it is a free service.

The Selection Process

At the college, we will also support you in selecting the right candidate. We will work with you to book in the interviews and if you would like us to we can support you with the interview process to select the right candidate.

Once a candidate is selected we will work with both of you to get signed up on programme and get an apprenticeship contract in place.

Q: So, can my current staff do an apprenticeship?

A: Yes, this is not an age restricted programme, so it can help with all your skills requirement if need be.


77% of businesses report that having a mentor programme improves job performance and helps staff (and apprenticeship) retention.

You should provide support to the apprentices throughout their time with the company make clear the goals you expect from them.

Be patient and willing to answer any questions the apprentice may have to assist them with their learning.

Choose a mentor who has had similar experiences to the apprentices; perhaps they once were an apprentice themselves.

Mentors will be on hand to offer the apprentice advice and information, and work closely with both employer and apprentices to solve any problems which might hinder the apprentice’s learning.

Mentoring is especially important for young apprentices as it is likely to be their first time in a working environment.

A mentor should typically be able to:

  • Listen actively and give constructive feedback
  • Build rapport easily
  • Set realistic targets
  • Offer support and guidance
  • Be a good role model

There is a wealth of literature on the subject of mentoring and it may not be for everyone in your workforce. If you are interested in developing skills as a mentor please talk to us further about this.

Smart Assessor

Smart Assessor is a cloud-based e-portfolio which allows tutors and learners to meet up virtually, using smart rooms for online teaching and assessing.

Smart Assessor tracks every detail of the learner’s journey, reducing the amount of paperwork involved. Learners are encourages to use the e-portfolio system to support them in taking greater ownership for learning, making progress at their own rate. Employers can also access the system to stay up to date on learning activities and progress.

Your assessor will be able to provide further information on accessing Smart Assessor.

On-the-job and Off-the-job Training

On-the-Job Training

  • Be carried out by an occupationally competent person
  • Ensure that apprentices gather the practical work-based experience to enable them to gain the evidence for their portfolios
  • Effectively link to off the job training
  • Encourage the apprentice to stay safe

Off-the-Job Training

Off-the-job training is learning which is delivered away from the immediate pressures of the job and away from their normal working duties and must teach new knowledge, skills and behaviours relevant to their specific apprenticeship.

It can be delivered flexibly, for example, as part of the day, one day per week, one week out of five or as block release. It can include the teaching of theory, at the college, practical training and writing assignments in work time.

You may already have existing training programmes or material you can use to deliver elements of the apprentice’s off-the-job training. Learners are required to meet the minimum of 20% off-the-job training before completing their apprenticeship programme.

Support Menu

Advice & Guidance


The Isle of Wight College
Medina Way
Isle of Wight
PO30 5TA
United Kingdom
The Isle of Wight College © 2021
Privacy PolicyTerms Of ServiceFeedback