The quality of apprenticeships can vary and a poor apprentice experience often starts at the recruitment stage. Commit to following best practice when recruiting your own apprentices and ensure you start off on the right foot. 

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Best practice for apprenticeship recruitment

Here are some best practice recommendations to bear in mind when you are recruiting apprentices:

  • Take ownership of the recruitment and training process, as employing young people are an investment in the skills and motivation of your future workforce.
  • Reach out to young people proactively through employment fairs and online platforms, both extending employment opportunities to them as well as mentoring them on employability skills, as young candidates are likely to add value to your business and help grow your future workforce.
  • Engage with the entire process of recruiting your apprentice, including design of the Apprenticeship role with duties adequate to the skill level of a young person, formulating an attractive job advert and selecting the best candidate for the role as that would help manage the employment relationship once the Apprenticeship begins. Make sure to avoid age discrimination and consider government support in covering the training contribution.
  • Understand that young people will judge the quality of the jobs you are offering by your behaviours in the recruitment process. Respect their time and make recruitment decisions in a timely manner.
  • Adjust your recruitment practices to the skill and experience level of a young person. Consider a skill-based/strength-based rather than competency-based interview approach. When recruiting an apprentice, you’re not looking for the finished product you’re looking for the capacity to learn, develop and grow.
  • You could also consider holding an assessment centre where candidates demonstrate their potential through group exercises that are observed by their potential managers.
  • You or your training partner need to check eligibility and also the level of Maths and English which can be done via a number of very easily accessible tools.
  • Be clear about what the Apprenticeship entails and be clear on the tasks you want the apprentice to carry out and the job they will be trained to do. While this will reflect your organisation’s needs and the Apprenticeship framework for your sector, it should also be tailored to the apprentices’ individual abilities. 
  • Be clear about potential progression routes upon completion of the Apprenticeship and what the employment possibilities are. Being really clear about what you are looking for will also help you to find someone who is the right fit for your organisation.
  • Provide feedback on the interview process to unsuccessful candidates.