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#AskAnEmployer 2020

3 – 7 February was National Apprenticeship Week 2020 and, to utilise this occasion, employers came together to answer questions about Apprenticeships live on Twitter. We posed questions from our students and received great feedback. Thank you to all of the companies who participated with us in order to help our students to better understand apprenticeships from the employers’ perspective.

What do you look for in an Apprentice?

“We keep it simple, we look for passion, commitment, curiosity. A desire to grow your career and provide the best possible service to our customers – in whatever area of the business you might be working in. #beliefinyou” Bupa UK Careers

“We look for apprentices that are really keen and eager to learn and progress within our business. We believe that our apprentices will be our future leaders so at interview we really look for those that demonstrate a passion and commitment for their own development.” Troup Bywaters+Anders

“We love hearing from students who have a huge appetite to learn as we offer some great training. Being able to demonstrate good organisation and communication skills is important. But one of the most important things is to show a real interest in the area in which they want to work. Enthusiasm goes a long way!” EDF Careers UK

How much will I earn?

“As a Recruitment Apprentice you would start on a minimum of £20,000, rising to £22,000 by the end of year 1 if you hit all coursework benchmarks. PLUS (like all Consultants at REED) you will receive uncapped performance-related bonuses on top.” REED Careers

“Different employers have different rates. Some are at minimum wage, some at higher levels. At Historic England apprentice salaries start from £14,300 but can go over £20,000 dependent on location and level of apprenticeship.” Phil Pollard, working in Apprenticeships for the Heritage sector.

“The national apprenticeship wage is £3.90 per hour, but some employers may pay above this, I.E. Cornwall Council. A benefit is that you get both a qualification and work experience; which is attractive to employers.” Cornwall Council Careers

“Starting salary of £17,500. Optional benefits such as: childcare vouchers, retail vouchers, gym discounts, dental care, pension, holiday trading + more. Quarterly pay reviews/ 5 year pay & progression model” Kerry | Recruiter – Capgemini UK

How many days / hours will I work?

“Our apprentices work the same hours and shift patterns as others in our business. The only difference is that they’ll spend 20% of their working hours focusing on their apprenticeship studies.” National Accident Helpline

“Typically our Apprentices’ hours are 9am-5.30pm Monday – Friday, hour for lunch, with one day a week attending College/University.” Rachel Stevens, Emerging Talent Programme Advisor – Stantec UK

“In the NHS, you can work up to 37.5 hours per week, but many roles are flexible and could be fewer hours if needed. You will spend 20% of that time doing off the job training, but that training time could be at work or in college/uni.”  South West Apprenticeship Ambassador Network

Am I entitled to holidays?

“At our council we offer a minimum of 25 days paid leave a year to all apprentices. Many employers, like us, also offer access to a flexi-scheme.” Northumberland County Council

“Yes! Our apprentices are entitled to the same holidays allowances as our all staff members starting at 22 days per year, plus bank holidays and we also operate a flex time working scheme.” Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

“Yes, of course! You are entitled to the statutory benefits that any employee would be entitled to.” Novicell UK

What’s your advice when applying for an Apprenticeship?

“We find people really stand out when they’re clearly committed to the organisation, the job role and the qualification. They’re also passionate about how an apprenticeship will support their future aspirations.” Home Group

“Be authentic at the interview, apply to companies in sectors that you’re interested in, start the conversation, and when you secure your place, make the most of every opportunity going. Be fearless… don’t be afraid to ask questions, try new things, put your hand up for opportunities to work with different people and gain experience in as many areas as you can. It will help you to work out where you want your career to go. We don’t interview for “confidence” we interview for “potential”.” Pepper UK Limited

“I don’t care about experience, especially for an apprentice, it’s all about passion and a want to learn. We can teach the skills but it’s a lot easier when you have a student that wants to learn :-)” Dogsbody Technology

“In the NHS, most recruitment is done on ‘values’, so check out the ‘values’ of the organisation you are applying to. Other than that – be motivated, be open-minded and be ready to work hard and learn!” South West Apprenticeship Ambassador Network

“We know that everyone feels nervous when they apply for a job! We try and make candidates feel welcome and encourage them to ask lots of questions throughout the process. The best way to combat nerves is to prepare as much as possible beforehand: research the company and think about the types of questions you might be asked and how you will answer. if someone is really passionate about the opportunity it shows how engaged they are and enthusiasm goes a long way!” EDF Careers UK

Why should I choose an Apprenticeship?

“You are getting paid to learn, rather than paying to learn. You’re also gaining experience of work, which could give you the edge over someone in full-time education. Being in a workplace is a benefit as you get feedback on how you’re doing, and there may be the opportunity to branch out into another role there as you gain experience and find your niche.” National accident Helpline

“Great benefit of an Apprenticeship – you EARN £’s while you learn. You gain a qualification, you gain confidence and in most cases leads to a career in the sector you have chosen.” Mark Poncia, Charity Committee member at Morson Group

“An apprenticeship allows you to start your career straight away and learn new skills all whilst getting paid. Our apprentices amaze themselves and us every day in what they achieve.” Community Integrated

How do you support Apprentices?

“We give all of our apprentices a buddy and a mentor as well as ongoing support from the manager. We also have mental health first aiders across the business on hand at all times.” GoFurther Academy, GoCompare

“’We get support from three main sources – my mentor who has already completed the programme, my dedicated BGL Academy partner who provides support and advice, and my external apprenticeship tutor.” Rebecca, Pathway Apprentice – BGL Group

“With apprenticeships in the NHS you have a tutor from the training provider and at least one work based mentor – often someone who has already done the same apprenticeship so can really support you. Many NHS organisations have dedicated apprenticeship teams too.” South West Apprenticeship Ambassador Network

Am I guaranteed a job at the end of an Apprenticeship?

“No guarantees but definitely a good idea to ask an employer what their future plans for the role are. Ask what previous apprentices have gone on to do so you can assess whether there is a longer term career opportunity.” Community Integrated Care

“We’re proud to say all of our apprentice graduates have gone on to secure permanent jobs with Athona!” Athona Recruitment

“Our apprentices are key members of our teams and add real value – so they’re rewarded with competitive salaries, built in pay increases and bonuses. If you work hard and complete your apprenticeship we’ll be looking to take you on permanently!” Kuehne + Nagel

Do Apprentices just make tea? (credit: nmcn plc)

“For us, apprentices have always been more than the site dogsbody or office tea maker. We’d rather #LookBeyond these traditional stereotypes and see their value from day one.” nmcn plc

“We never say no to tea! But we never expect our apprentices to make it either – they are equal members of our team and are always treated as such.” Walter Lilly

“Our apprentices do so much more than make tea, they are #makingimpact! (Though occasionally it’s their turn J)” ECS Computers Ltd

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