Job vacancies stand at a record high of 1.1million.   Most industries are affected but wholesale & retail trade, accommodation, food service and motor vehicle repair providers have been particularly hard hit.  Apprenticeships are a key government policy, which some employers are effectively using to fill vacancies and grow talent inside their organisation.

What are Apprenticeships?

In simple terms an apprenticeship is a paid job which combines employment and training.   Apprenticeships are available to anyone entitled to work in the UK,  Individuals who successfully complete their apprenticeship get a nationally-recognised qualification.

In the UK you can:

  • Take on apprentices with different levels of education e.g., school/college leavers or university graduates.
  • Give opportunities to those who want to further their career or change their career direction completely.
  • Hire someone new or upskill an existing employee.
  • Apply for funding from the government to help pay for apprenticeship training.

When taking on an apprentice you must explain to them:

  • their rights as an employee,
  • what they are entitled to expect from you as their employer, and
  • what their obligations are to you and their work colleagues.


How does the training work?

The training offered will be both on and off the job.   The actual form the training takes will depend on your organisation, the industry sector and skill level, however it will include these three main components.

Transferable Skills – sometimes called functional/key/core or essential skills, all of which describe the core set of skills needed for the workplace.  These include English, maths, information and communications technology (ICT) in the workplace and the context of their role.

Competence – the technical aspects of the apprenticeship carried out in the workplace

Knowledge – the technical knowledge and theory relevant to supporting the practical skills the apprentice will develop in their role.


Why take on apprentices?

Taking on an apprentice can be a productive and effective way to grow talent from within your organisation, leading to a motived, skilled and qualified workforce.   Government statistics say:

  • 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation.
  • 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity.
  • 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service.

Other business benefits include:

  • Being able to fit employee training to your business needs.
  • Staff who are motivated to learn new skills.
  • The ability to expand and upskill your organisation.


How to take on an apprentice

The government website Hire an apprentice ( gives full details and links to how to go about recruiting an apprentice.

Your first step will be to Create an apprenticeship service account.

You can then either:

You can chose to manage the recruitment process yourself or ask your training provider to manage it on your behalf.

Steps to success

Every organisation is different, and it is impossible to give a ‘one size fits all approach’ to success.   There are some items, listed below, which you will need to consider carefully.

  • Get your strategy right – numbers, roles, level.
  • What are your Learning and Development needs?
  • Understanding the funding.
  • Picking the right provider.
  • Getting management support (senior and line) for the process.
  • Communicating with the rest of the business.

Starting Apprenticeships 101 Factsheet PRF1 by gives more information on each of these subject areas.


Other ideas

If you want to support young people into the workplace but feel apprenticeships are not the right option for your business other alternatives such as T-Levels, Traineeships, the Kickstart Scheme may suit you. For more information on these,  Click here: Alternatives to apprenticeships.

For further information on Apprenticeships please Contact Solution22 – HR Consultancy Services

Sources:  Apprenticeships | Factsheets |CIPD