So why take on an apprentice?
Apprentices are often characterised as the “spotty youth” types, with their hands in their pockets, always late, lazy and pretty useless. This stereotype is difficult to shift – but the truth is that these days, apprentices come in all different shapes and sizes. Many apprentices are in their twenties and thirties, people who didn’t get the opportunity when they left school and ended up in low paid jobs, but now have families and responsibilities and are desperate to improve themselves. This makes them motivated and eager to learn.
The biggest reason to take on an apprentice is to grow your business. Qualified gas engineers are thin on the ground, and expensive, so an apprentice is a cost-effective way of hiring staff who can be trained to do things your way. It might take a bit longer to complete a job if you are showing an apprentice how to do something – but this is an investment in your business for the future. The Gas Engineering Apprenticeship is an 18-month programme – so in just 18 months you could have a qualified engineer able to take on their own workload and work independently.
With the Gas Safe Decade review stating that 50% of qualified gas engineers are over 50, there is a massive shortage of engineers – and that is only going to get worse, so for companies who are looking to grow, options are few. Training up a new generation of engineers is the only way to ensure that your business is future-proofed.
How much will it cost?
The government have stipulated an “Apprentice Rate” of £4.15 an hour. This is the rate for under 19s or over 19s in the first year of their apprenticeship. This equates to a weekly salary of £166 for a 40 hour week. You can pay more than this if you like! There is also an employer contribution of 5% of the cost of the apprenticeship if you take on an apprentice aged over 19. For the Gas Engineering Apprenticeship, this would be £1320. However, there is an Employer Incentive payment of £1000 for an apprentice aged under 19, and the government have announced additional incentive payments for employers who take on new apprentice between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021, of:
- £2000 for apprentices aged under 24
- £1500 for apprentices aged 25 and over
This really is a fantastic time to take on a new apprentice!
Is there a lot for me to do?
No. ECTA do all the technical training, both theory and practical. You will need to allow the apprentice the opportunities to put into practice what they have learned in the centre out in the field. We will contact you on a regular basis to discuss your apprentice’s progress. Other than that – there is no difference in employing anyone else. ECTA will work with you from day one to ensure both you and your apprentice are getting the maximum benefit.
What different apprenticeships do you offer?
Currently, ECTA offer Level 3 apprenticeship standards in: