Frequently Asked Questions

When taking on an Apprentice, or doing ANYTHING new in your business, it’s great to have questions… after all, you’re a business owner, you need to make informed decisions.

That’s why this page is dedicated to answering those questions that may be whizzing around your head.

 

1. How do I know my Apprentice will be a good fit?
There are no guarantees, obviously, but you will get the chance to interview a pre-selected group of young people. REMEMBER, you're not looking for your next MD - passion, a bit of spark and the right fit for your business is all you should be looking for at this stage.  
 
2. I’ve already got an existing Apprentice, can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply, but you may not be eligible for the AGE grant. You can’t get an AGE grant if you have taken an apprentice on in the last 12 months and not already applied for the Grant.
 
3. Can my existing Apprentice access the SkillWise training Programme? Unfortunately not.

4. What happens after the Apprenticeship is up? After the Apprenticeship, you can employ your Apprentice (full or part-time) as a permanent member of staff or, if under 19, take them on for a second Apprenticeship at the same rate.

5. How do I apply? Go to the home page and click one of the two buttons that apply to you at the bottom of the page.

6. What qualifications will they have before they come to me?
The majority of our candidates will come with good GCSE grades, but we would advise you not to exclude candidates where their grades are not so good, because these candidates often turn out to be some of the most committed and hard-working Apprentices.

7. How will my Apprentice be chosen? Do I get to choose myself?
We will provide you with as many suitable candidates who will meet the eligibility criteria for an Apprenticeship and complete our intensive recruitment process. It will be up to you to decide which candidate you take on and we'll arrange all of the interviews for you.
 
8. Why should I choose this programme over all the others out there?
We'll be recruiting a young person specifically for you and your business, so you'll be getting the best person possible. On top of that we'll only work with apprentices who we feel have the appropriate skill set to make a genuine impact on your business. Our assessors are all experts in their respective subjects and will ensure that your apprentice is up-skilled and supported throughout their qualification 
 
9. What’s it going to cost me? Only
You'll need to pay your apprentices wage, we suggest £125 per week for a 30 hour working week. The minimum you can pay is £105. You'll also need to make a 10% contribution to the cost of training your apprentice. This normally around £30 per month or can be paid in one lump sum. 

10. If my Apprentice isn’t working out for me, or I don’t like them, what can I do?
We can help you to replace them.  It's very rare, but sometimes it doesn't work out, so we'll do everything we can to help make it work. Typically, we would need to allow 4-6 weeks to replace them, but the SkillWise Team will be on the ground providing lots of support and this Programme is a great opportunity for the young people don’t forget, so the vast majority of them will be highly motivated to make this work.
 
11. Is there a catchment area? i.e. Can people from outside my geographical location come and work for me?
Your business has to be based in England and your apprentice has to live in England. The majority of our work is carried out within a 50 mile radius of the West Midlands but we'll be happy to let you know if we can work with you. 

12. Do I have to pay for their travel costs? You don't need to pay them anything when they are on their Apprenticeship as they will be getting paid, but if you want to arrange some travel allowance as their wage is low, then this is completely at your discretion.  Any costs, outside of their daily commute, that an Apprentice incurs must be covered by the business.

13. Do they have to have a Driving License? No.  If you require your Apprentice to hold a Driving Licence, we can specify this in our marketing of your vacancy, but this will drastically reduce the number of applications we receive for your vacancy and the projected salary should be higher to accommodate the running of their own vehicle, including insurance for business use, where required.

14. Why do I have to decide now? Because this Programme has limited spaces due to Government funding being available. 

15. What training will I need to provide on top of what you provide?
It's important to acknowledge that your apprentice will not be the finished article from day 1, it's important that you provide your Apprentice with an induction into your business and you give them guidance on what you want them to do each day. Some of the most successful businesses are those that provide support to their candidate and don't just leave them to get on with it. After all, they are an investment and need nurturing to help grow your business. 
 
16. Will they be on my payroll? Yes, they are your employee once they start their Apprenticeship and they would require a contract from you, as you would do with any other member of staff.

17. Do I pay sickness and holiday pay? They won’t be entitled to any sick pay. However, they will be entitled to a minimum of 20 days paid holiday as standard.

18. Will I get someone with an interest in my industry, or is it just anyone?
We can add that criteria into the recruitment and selection process and try and find someone with an interest/passion for what you do, but we can’t guarantee it. Remember, all you're looking for is someone with passion and a bit of spark at this point. The rest will come post-training and after they spend time in your business.

19. What kind of jobs can I give them, extra-curricular to the scheme?
You need to remember that they applied to complete a marketing or admin role, so getting them hoovering the office isn't really going to be in their job description. They’ll be trained and most useful to you in helping with your social media, business admin and marketing, so it's important to keep the focus on these 3 core areas.
 
20. Can I employ them at the end of the Apprenticeship?
Yes, this is our ultimate goal. We would like nothing more than to see your Apprentice generate such a return on investment, that they become invaluable to your business.

21. What if they need more training than what’s being provided?
Then we can accommodate that. The Tutor is there to support them for the duration of the Programme. 

22. I have two businesses, can I share an Apprentice between two companies?
Yes you can as long they have one main point of contact and they are fulfilling the criteria. However, we would recommend having one per business.  

23. What are the timings – when will my Apprentice start?
Once you have selected your Apprentice, they should typically be ready to start working in your business straight away, subject to any notice periods from previous employment, where applicable. 
 
24. What qualification will my Apprentice get?  Upon the successful completion of their Apprenticeship, your Apprentice will gain the relevant level 2 or level 3 NVQ and/or Technical Certificate in Business Admin or Marketing.  

25. Can you be clear on what my time commitment is if I go ahead with the Programme?  Yes.
Once they are on board, your obligations as a business will be as follows:
  • Provide full induction training to them so that they understand your business, sector, ethos, etc
  • A 2-3 hour meeting with your new Apprentice and their designated SkillWise Tutor
  • 30-minute meeting at your business once a month with the Tutor and Apprentice.
  • Quarterly formal review meeting, again at your premises.
Obviously it doesn’t have to be the business owner that fulfils these obligations, but it should be someone appropriate within your team, ideally the Apprentice's Line Manager.
Throughout the Apprenticeship, you will have unlimited phone support from the SkillWise team.

26. What is the eligibility criteria for an Apprentice? They must meet the following:
  • Aged 16 – 24
  • Not be in education
  • Live in England
  • Have the right to work in the UK
  • Not hold a qualification higher than Level 3 (e.g A Levels, NVQ Level 3)

27. If I know someone who could be my Apprentice, can I get them onto the Programme and into my business?
If they meet the criteria, then yes.

28. What will I have to pay my Apprentice if I keep them on at the end of the 12 month programme?
It’s entirely and we would recommend re-numeration in line with your current employment policy and demands of the job role. 
 
29. Is any funding available to help with the cost of employing an apprentice?
Your business may receive an additional grant if taking on an apprentice aged between 16 - 18. Not grants are currently available for employing an apprentice aged 19 plus. 

 

Option 1

I'd like you to recruit a highly trained Apprentice to work alongside me.

 

Option 2

Train one of my existing staff to support with marketing and social media.