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Employ An Apprentice

Hiring an Apprentice is a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. An Apprentice can be a new or existing employee starting a new position and the process for employing an apprentice is like recruiting any other employee.

An Apprentice is in paid employment from day one. National Minimum Wage rates for apprentices apply however this rate differs for Higher Level Apprenticeships. An apprenticeship usually takes between two and four years to complete depending on the type of apprenticeship.

You will share your industry expertise and knowledge by providing mentoring and "on the job" training. Your apprentice participate in "off the job" training (usually one day per week) to achieve the relevant industry qualifications and requirements.

For further information:
Telephone: 028 9026 5219



Benefits to Your Business

  • Increase productivity, improve competitiveness and develop a competent workforce
  • Fill your skills gaps. Apprenticeships develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices – skills often not available in the job market.
  • Secure a supply of people with the skills and qualities you need to replace an ageing workforce.
  • Contribute to NI’s pool of qualified, certificated employees in your sector and help grow our economy and skills base.
  • Build loyalty and reduce turnover.
  • Create future managers who know your business.
  • Motivate other staff to up skill.
  • Show your company’s commitment to your team.

Types of Apprenticeships

There are two apprenticeship programmes funded by the Department for the Economy (DfE):

ApprenticeshipsNI - Level 2 and 3 - available to individuals 16 and over, eligibility restrictions apply to individuals aged 25 and over

Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLAs) - Level 4 and Level 5 - available to individuals 18 and over. HLAs are not subject to age eligibility restrictions.

Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of occupational areas to support your business needs.

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The Employer's Role

  • Pay the apprentice as a permanent paid employee (minimum 21 contracted hours per week including day release/off-the-job training. Directed training must be paid as part of the participant’s contracted hours) from day one.
  • Pay the apprentice a wage commensurate with the industry rate for that job and in accordance with National Minimum Wage regulations
  • Support on-the-job training for the apprentice using a mentor or journey-man to help develop knowledge and competence on the job
  • Support off-the-job learning by giving the apprentice appropriate time to attend College to enhance professional and technical knowledge.
  • Comply with all relevant legal and contractual responsibilities regarding health and safety, and take steps to ensure equality of opportunity, regardless of community background, gender, marital status, disability, race, political opinion, sexual orientation, age, or dependents.
  • Hold appropriate Public and Employers Liability Insurance
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NI Traineeships - Employer Engagment

Work Based Learning, in conjunction with local employers, is a critical element of a Traineeship. Placement in a suitable work environment makes the learning ‘real’ and supports the development of work ready skills.

Employers offering a Traineeship must be able to:

-Offer a minimum of 20% of the programmes as work-based learning (typically 1 day per week);

-Provide evidence of agreed employee and public liability insurance;

-Provide the same health and safety protection as an employee would get.

Learn more about NI Traineeships

Belfast Met Apprenticeships