Grow your team - recruiting an apprentice
Have you considered growing your team by employing an apprentice? Not only will you support your business but you'll provide an apprentice with the opportunity to learn and develop their skills so that they can become a great practitioner.
Read Kim's story, as she talks about her experience of working with apprentices, the support it provided and how it has led her business to grow and develop.
Support available when employing an apprentice in England
To support you with the recruitment journey in England, we work with The Childcare Company who can offer PACEY members a free apprenticeship recruitment service.
The Childcare Company team will actively advertise your vacancy and screen candidates prior to sending you a shortlist of potential apprentices. All you have to do is interview and offer strong candidates a two-day work experience placement. This gives both parties the chance to see if the arrangement will work. Then, once you are satisfied you have chosen your ideal apprentice, The Childcare Company will work with you in getting them started.
To find out more about employing an apprentice for your business in England please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01753 596004.
Support available when employing an apprentice in Wales
For more information about employing an apprentice for your childcare business in Wales, please email email@example.com or call 0845 8801299.
There is also a childcare apprenticeship programme, which was introduced in Wales in 2019. It supports existing practitioners who work between 10 and 16 hours a week to undertake childcare and play qualifications. The Progress for Success programme aims to raise the quality of childcare provision in Wales by broadening the skills and qualifications of the existing workforce.
Find out more about the Progress for Success pilot scheme.
If you are a registered childminder in Wales and you're not sure if employing an apprentice would work for you, have you considered offering a work experience placement to a student? PACEY members can take a look at our factsheet: Working with a student (Wales) to find out more.
Please note: due to COVID-19 consideration will need to be given by providers who are looking to take on a student. Welsh Government have confirmed in the Protective Measures guidance that those on work placements or students in regular attendance can be included as ‘staff’ so this does not have to be a barrier to opening up opportunities however risk assessments would need to be undertaken. During the uncertainty of Covid-19 some childcare settings have been less likely to provide learners with placements. PACEY Cymru have supported Social Care Wales in the publication of guidance and resources for learning providers and learners to support safe working during the pandemic.
What you need to know
Whether you live in England or Wales an apprentice must be paid a minimum of £3.90 per hour and be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week, which includes the mandatory 20 per cent off-the-job training within these paid working hours. The maximum number of working hours per week is 40. From April 2020, the minimum wage for an apprentice will rise from £3.90 to £4.15.
Part-time apprenticeships can be agreed in exceptional circumstances, for example, if the apprentice has caring responsibilities.
Additionally, if the apprentice is aged between 16 and 18 at the start of the apprenticeship, the employer receives a £1000 Government payment.