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Introduction - ‘A fresh approach to growth'’

Apprentices add life to your business. As well as being eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invest in them, apprentices deliver real returns to your bottom line. In a recent survey the majority of employers said that Apprenticeships help them to improve productivity and be more competitive.

What are Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are the proven way to train your workforce. Apprenticeships can make your organisation more effective, productive and competitive by addressing your skills gaps directly, even in uncertain economic times.

There are real business benefits to taking on apprentices. This section outlines these benefits as well as answering other questions you may have about Apprenticeships.

The Apprenticeship programme has been designed to help your employees reach a high level of competency and performance and with over 180 different types of Apprenticeships, there’s bound to be a place for an apprentice in your organisation.

How can your business benefit?

  • Apprentices tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. An apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and a commitment to a specific career
  • They deliver industry-specific training - you employ the staff, your company benefits!
  • They guarantee the availability of trained staff for your company
  • They help attract, and keep, high quality personnel
  • The package of Functional Skills available as part of the Apprenticeship can help to improve communication and team work within your company
  • They give your employees a stake in the future of the company and a commitment to ensuring its success
  • You enjoy the benefits of professional occupation-specific Business Development Officers to assist you and your staff through the programme
  • Employers gain by being able to train people to meet the needs of the business. Their enthusiasm can bring positive benefits to other members of staff and the knowledge they gain is frequently used to the benefit of the business.

Popular Employer Q&A's

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are on-the-job training leading to nationally recognised qualifications, developed by industry for industry.

What does it involve?

An Apprenticeship includes the following components:

  • A minimum of 16 hours per week paid employment
  • A knowledge based element
  • A competency based element
  • Transferable or “key skills”
  • A module on employment rights and responsibilities.

Who are they for?

You can use Apprenticeships to train both new and existing employees. A training provider, such as HLC, will support and guide you. They will work with you to help you decide which Apprenticeship is right, explain the way that Apprenticeships work and if funding is available. They will then help you to recruit your apprentice or support your existing staff into Apprenticeships, and manage the training, ensuring it is integrated and to national quality standards.

How long does it last?

The length of an Apprenticeship varies depending on prior skills levels of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and industry sector. Generally, Apprenticeships take between one and three years to complete.

How will the training take place?

The majority of training will take place in the workplace. Each apprentice will attend college either as day-release or sometimes as block release depending on the occupational area selected. In some cases assessment will be by completing tasks in the workplace. 

What are my responsibilities as an employer?

You must give your apprentices an induction into their role and provide on-the-job training. You are also responsible for paying your apprentices’ wages.

Will there be a mountain of paperwork?

No. There is a need to ensure that the training provided is of a high quality, and that the public funding provided is used for training – but this is not a bureaucratic process.

Employer Testimonials

Stuart Laurie, Plumbing & Heating Engineer at Hereford Gas Services Ltd

"There have been 10-15 apprentices since I started here and we have always been successful in employing new ones each year. It’s really important to us to keep passing on our trade and it is good to see more apprentices being supported in the different industries. Our apprentices this year have been great; keen, motivated and with a good sense of humour. We are one of the larger independent companies in Hereford with a great showroom so we are lucky to be able to have apprentices each year."

Steve Strange, Production Director at Hereford Cask Ltd

"It is crucial to emphasise how important the combination of practical work and theoretical knowledge is on the path to becoming a skilled worker. Our one apprentice, Adam, has always worked with our company, so although he has fantastic knowledge it is very specific to Hereford Casks Ltd. Our other apprentice Alex completed a First Diploma in Welding and Fabrication at HLC’s Holme Lacy Campus prior to coming here so he has a much broader base of knowledge and this can only be beneficial to his development in real life industry. They now both attend college once a week."

David Thomas, Managing Director at G.P.Thomas & Son Ltd

"We have always had and will continue to have a commitment to training and our relationship with the College is central to this. We have found the College to be flexible and responsive and have always listened to us, adjusting training to our needs. I feel that they've acknowledged us as an important part of the whole equation."

View all Apprenticeships at HLC

Contact the Training Division on 0800 032 1986  or email