5 steps for attracting apprentices to your business

06 February 2024

Two people walking through an orchard

Apprentices are a great way to build your farm workforce with the skills and motivation your business needs but competition to find and retain the best candidates can be high.

We've summarised the top 5 key considerations to hep you make your business stand out and secure the best apprentice candidates.

1. Identify your business needs

Think carefully about what your business needs, what the business strategy and objectives are and what skills are needed to support them.

Once the skills you need are identified you can go on to select the relevant apprenticeship scheme to support your business. This can be done using the GOV.UK website. More information can be found at: GOV.UK | Business: find training and employment schemes.

2. Choose a training provider

Thought should be given to the choice of training provider and whether it offers the training needed to support your business objectives.

It is important to look at the detail and make sure that the training provider does deliver what you need to support an apprentice in your business. For example, not all training providers offering the Level 3 Crop Technician offer both soil based and container-based options in their apprentice programmes.

Choosing the wrong provider may mean that the training an apprentice receives is not relevant to your business. More information is available at: GOV.UK | Find apprenticeship training if you're an employer.

3. Apply for funding

Make sure that you access the £1,000 of additional funding which is available to employers of apprentices who are:

  • Aged 16 to 18 years, or
  • Aged 19 to 25 years and have an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of a local authority.

The additional funding can be used to pay associated costs of supporting an employee in the workforce and is an opportunity to fund additional training (e.g. for workplace tickets) that may not be available from the training provider used and will help make you stand out as an employer.

Find out more and how to apply at: GOV.UK | Payments for hiring a young apprentice.

4. Create a job advert

Create a job advertisement that is concise but gives all the information a candidate needs including:

  • Job title, responsibilities and salary.
  • Learning objectives for the role.
  • The support you offer to an apprentice.
  • Future career progression both within your business and the wider industry.
  • How to apply.

5. Salary

There are strict rules on the minimum wage for apprentices.

From 1 April all apprentices under the age of 18 years must be paid at least £6.40 per hour. For those aged between 18 to 20 years, the minimum wage is £8.60 and all apprentices over the age of 21 years must be paid £11.44.

Although employers must pay the minimum wage according to the age of the apprentice they can pay more if they wish to do so. In a competitive labour market this may be necessary if the right candidates are to be secured.

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