The first and perhaps most important thing to understand when considering employing an apprentice is to make sure that the individual is engaged on the correct type of contract. Using the wrong contract is the main pitfall for employers to be wary of; it can make dismissing an apprentice, even for gross misconduct, high risk.
Most sectors now have approved apprenticeship standards that the apprentice will work towards. To check the list of sectors for which approved standards have been produced, or to see an example of the standards and required learning outcomes you should visit the Institute for Apprenticeship’s website: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards
Where a standard does not exist for a particular role then there may be an apprenticeship framework in place. The government are in the process of replacing these therefore standards should be used where possible.
Apprenticeship agreements in England have to be in a prescribed form and satisfy certain conditions. If you engage an apprentice but do not do so in the prescribed form or if an approved standard does not exist for your sector then the apprentice will be engaged under a ‘contract of apprenticeship’, meaning that they are a traditional apprentice. Such individuals can only be safely dismissed where it has become impossible to train them.
For a compliant contract using an approved apprenticeship standard see:
A2: Contract of employment: apprenticeship agreement (English approved standard)
Or where a framework is still in place and no approved English apprenticeship standard has been produced see:
A3: Contract of employment: apprenticeship agreement (framework)
A2 – Apprenticeship Agreement (English Apprenticeship Standard)
What type of contract should an apprentice be given?
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