Why take on an apprentice?
Many employers in Guernsey take on Apprentices every year for a number of reasons; it can diversify the workforce, it can be profitable and they can give someone the valuable opportunity to start out in a trade and earn a career, an opportunity which they themselves once received.
The States Registered Apprenticeship Scheme (SRAS) works with the Catering, Hairdressing, Horticulture, Construction and Engineering sectors, working with employers to allow the training of apprentices, of any age, to gain qualifications and experience which will allow them to become qualified tradespeople. Taking on apprentices can be a daunting prospect for any company however, the Scheme has over 400 employers registered who can take on and train apprentices as part of the Apprenticeship Scheme.
Which trades are in the Apprenticeship Scheme?
Trades in the Apprenticeship Scheme
What does an Apprenticeship involve?
For the most part, an Apprenticeship is the combination of both tuition at a College and work-based training with an employer in their trade. Whilst at College, apprentices work towards qualifications recognised by their trade for normally one day a week, with the remaining days being spent either on site or in the workplace, where they will be trained by a mentor. The combination of the two, both completing qualifications and gaining practical experience, means that by the end of their apprenticeship of 3-5 years, apprentices will be ready to be signed off as qualified tradespeople.
The Scheme provides grant subsidy to employers who take on an apprentice and in return, employers sign to agree that they will pay their apprentice for the time they spend at college. Tuition at the Guernsey College of Further Education is free for apprentices for up to 5 years, after which apprentices will have to pay for further tuition, it is very rare for an apprentice to not complete within this time, however.
There are some trades which do not have training available on-island and therefore training is received off-island and there is a grant of up to £1,000 a year for up to 5 years which contributes to the training of apprentices in the above trades off the Island.
How do I join the Apprenticeship Scheme?
Any employers who wish to join the Apprenticeship Scheme should get in contact either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling 737501 and the team will do their best to answer any questions. If after correspondence employers wish to proceed with registration, paperwork will be sent through, and upon it being completed, employers will be contacted about a visit. This visit is to allow the employer and a representative from the Apprenticeship Scheme and the relevant tutor to meet so that all details about the Scheme and the training are clarified. After this visit, an employer contract will be sent through to the employer where they agree to the terms of the Scheme, completing the registration.
Any further paperwork will be for Apprentices when the employer has taken someone on that they wish to send to College.
Key dates for taking on Apprentices
June/July - when Year 11s finish their compulsory education and can enter full-time work.
September - when the College of FE has its enrolment evening and apprentices sign up for their courses.
February - for Horticulture employers who wish enrol their apprentices, as the term structure for this is seasonal, (February - October).