Frequently asked questions (FAQs) from employers about
apprenticeships at Gateshead College.
What is an apprenticeship?
How are Apprenticeships different to Modern Apprenticeships?
Why should I take on an apprentice?
Because it is good business. Skills shortages are still one of
the biggest threats to UK business. Apprenticeships can help
businesses across all industries by offering a route to harness
If you have trained staff with the right skills for the job they
can do a wider range of tasks and take on new responsibilities -
this can help to reduce skill shortages, minimise staff turnover
and workplace accidents, and increase productivity.
Taking on an apprentice is cost effective because your people
can learn while they're on the job and the government contributes
to the costs of learning.
80% of employers that have apprentices agree that apprentices
make their workplace more productive.
My business is struggling to make ends meet as it is with the recession. How is recruiting an apprentice going to help my business manage through it?
Even in difficult times like these, Apprenticeships are a vital
way of improving the skills of staff and generating a committed and
When times are tough, competition for contracts is even tougher.
That's when a keen and motivated extra pair of hands could make a
real difference to your chances of success.
Apprentices can also help you be ready for your businesses for
when the economy comes out of recession.
By offering a flexible resource that can help your business
grow, apprentices can also give you a competitive advantage to
exploit new business growth opportunities.
Is there anything being done to help SMEs take on an Apprentice?
What is the financial benefit to my business?
There are clear financial benefits to employers and their
investment in Apprenticeships is repaid many times over.
A recent study by the University of Warwick Institute of
Employment Research found that the costs of Apprenticeship training
are recouped relatively quickly, and that where the investment is
nurtured, the returns are significant.
Another study by Sheffield University measured the long term
financial benefit to investing in Apprenticeships. A Level 3
Advanced apprentice will generate an additional lifetime benefit to
themselves and their employer of £105,000 compared to someone who
does not gain an Apprenticeship. The Level 2 additional benefit is
£73,000. This represents a gain of £16 for every £1 of taxpayers'
Are there any financial incentives for taking on an apprentice?
Is there a cost for employers?
Like all employees, apprentices must still receive a wage.
The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £2.60 per hour.
However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages -
in fact, research has found that apprentices earn an average of
£170 net pay per week.
There is also the cost of the supervision, support and mentoring
that you will need to put in place to support the apprentice. These
associated costs are not insignificant - however, the National
Apprenticeship Service will match employer's commitment to hiring
apprentices by covering in full, or in part, the training
Do I have to pay my apprentice for holidays?
Is there a limit to the number of apprentices I could take on?
What support can I expect towards costs?
Gateshead College draw down funding from the National
Apprenticeship Service (NAS) which covers the training of
apprentices depending on their age (please see table below).
National Apprenticeship Service contribution
up to 100%
19 - 24
up to 50%
Contribution for specified places
The government provides the funds to cover the full cost of the
mandatory training required to complete the framework as determined
by the relevant SSC for a young person aged 16-18 on an
Apprenticeship. If Gateshead College choose to deliver additional
qualifications or courses as part of the delivery of the overall
framework then these courses will not be funded and will need to be
paid for by Gateshead College or the employer.
We also support employers through the process of recruiting and
training a candidate, offering a free recruitment service in
helping you find the right person for your company.
What evidence is there to say taking on an apprentice would benefit my business?
The Learning and Skills Council recently surveyed businesses
throughout the UK on benefits of hiring an apprentice (Populus,
January 2009). Of those surveyed:
81% said that employing apprentices generated higher overall
productivity for their company.
66% said that their Apprenticeship programme made them more
competitive in their industry.
92% said that their Apprenticeship programme better motivated
staff and increased job satisfaction.
74% said that apprentices tended to be more loyal, remaining at
their company longer than non-apprentices.
How often would my apprentice attend College?
What is the role of Gateshead College Apprenticeship Department?
Gateshead College are approved by the Skills Funding Agency to
deliver Apprenticeships. As a learning provider we are
responsible for an apprentice's training programme.
When you take on an apprentice you will be in touch with a
Programme Manager who will work with you to make sure that the
training is well planned. Once the apprentice begins the Programme
Manager will follow their progress and deal with any issues that
How can I find out more?