Should A Tradesman Hire An Apprentice?

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Traditionally apprenticeships were the norm for hiring tradesmen. Currently, many tradesmen choose to hire an apprentice as a way to fill the skills gap that exists in the construction industry. Also, there are more and more people choosing to become apprentices in a particular trade instead of going to university.

Here’s a quick look at what it entails, and why many businesses are also choosing to take this route.


What Is It?

An apprenticeship is a government created work and study programme to help employers get skilled staff. It allows participants the opportunity to gain a recognized qualification and relevant work experience while earning a salary. They can be either a new or current employee but they must be over the age of 16.

There are currently 4 types of apprenticeships available. There is the intermediate level, then the Advanced level, then the higher level, and finally the degree level. Apprenticeship can last between 1 and 5 years depending on the level of qualification.


What Are The Pros and Cons?

As with any business decision, hiring an apprentice as a tradesman has both advantages and disadvantages, here’s a quick look at a few of them.



  • They are hard working and productive.

  • They tend to be long-term employees. You have a motivated and dedicated employee that has decided to take this specific route, which will mean they are less likely to leave.

  • Hiring apprentices can be a cheaper and lower risk way of hiring staff.

  • The government offers plenty of support, both financial and nonfinancial

  • You can train them the specific way you require.

  • It allows you to build a workforce with industry-relevant skills and qualifications at a lower cost than usual.

  • You are giving someone an opportunity.



  • It can be time-consuming. Due to their lack of experience, they often require close mentorship throughout the whole process.

  • You must commit to it for a minimum of 1 year, but depending on the level it can be up to 5 years.

  • There is both an initial cost and an ongoing one for taking on an apprentice.

  • There is the risk of them not liking the programme and deciding to drop out before the allotted time period.


How Do You Do It?

Before you hire an apprentice your business must be sure that your business is in a good position to take on another member of staff. It can be a good idea to seek both financial and legal advice to make sure you’re ready.

Once you know you are ready to hire an apprentice, then here are a few of the steps to take:


First of all, you need to choose the right apprenticeship framework for your industry and the type of apprenticeship. Then you need to find an organization that offers training to your chosen frameworks standard.


Next, you should check what government funding is available to help towards the cost of training and assessing the apprentice. Once this is done you can then advertise your apprenticeship. Then select your chosen candidate, get them to sign the necessary agreements and then they can begin.

If you don’t want to run the apprenticeship scheme, there is the option of using an apprenticeship training agency to do it for you.


For the majority of tradesmen taking on an apprentice turns out to be a good decision. However, it is important that it is done at the right time because your business has to be ready to handle the commitments that come with it. It is a good idea is to ask other tradesmen that have already hired an apprentice for feedback about it before doing it.


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