Recruitment, Employment and Pay
Employing an apprentice
Apprentices are aged 16 or over, and are salaried employees during their apprenticeship. They will combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific role.
- Skills for Health – Steps for employing an apprentice printable
APEL / Recognition of prior learning
Before an apprenticeship begins, the main training provider must assess the individual’s prior learning to establish the ‘starting point’, or baseline, of the apprentice. The employer might undertake the initial assessment alongside the training provider and prior to making the individual an apprenticeship offer.
- Gov.uk guidance – Apprenticeships: initial assessment to recognise learning
Apprentices must have a contract of employment and a learning agreement for the duration of their apprenticeship. These are known as Apprenticeship agreements. You can download a template and further details of what it should contain from the government website here. Other helpful resources to use when recruiting apprentices can be downloaded below.
- Sometimes apprentices are supernumerary. For regulated roles, please check the NMC and HCPC’s positions on supernumerary status. Other regulatory bodies may have position statements on this. If in doubt, please contact them directly to ask.
- NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) – Running a nursing degree apprenticeship in England
- HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) – Standards of Education and Training
Apprentices are salaried employees during their apprenticeship. The minimum wage per hour for an apprentice (correct as at April 2023) is £5.28 during the first year of their apprenticeship at any age.
If the apprentice has completed the first year of their apprenticeship, they are entitled to the minimum wage for their age:
- Under 18 £5.28
- Age 18 to 20 £7.49
- Age 21 to 22 £10.18
- Age 23+ £10.42
In health, many organisations may choose to pay their trainees more than the minimum wage, view below.
Health Education England is passionate about and has a commitment to widening participation in apprenticeships. Having recently become a member of the nationwide, multi-sector Apprentice Diversity Champions’ Network, HEE is helping to drive positive change throughout the NHS so that apprenticeships are seen as opportunities for all sections of the community, particularly underrepresented or disadvantaged groups. Having diversity in the workforce ultimately means greater quality of patient care as well as helping individuals achieve their potential.
Among other activities, the NHS and HEE are delivering programmes to improve access for those with learning difficulties or disabilities. This includes supported internships and supported apprenticeships, enabling those with particular needs to gain sustainable employment and delivering benefits to employers who are now able to access a wider talent pool.
For more information about the national programme of work supporting widening participation in apprenticeships, please contact email@example.com