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Tradesman Apprenticeships – What You Need To Know

Rhino Trade Insurance 04 July 2022

Let's imagine you've been a qualified tradesman or woman on the tools for a couple of years. Things are going well. You have regular work and find that more and more people are ringing you up for jobs. Sadly, you keep having to turn away business because you don't physically have the time to get to them. Ta-dah… maybe it's time to consider a trade apprentice to give you some assistance. 

But how exactly do you go about getting a trade apprentice? Is it financially feasible? How long will you need to train them, and are there any insurance precautions you need to be aware of?

What is a tradesman apprentice?

Any tradesperson who has served their time will know exactly what an apprenticeship is and what it takes to complete one. It's a real opportunity to kickstart your career and learn a valuable skill that will stand the test of time. No matter if you want to be a electrician, plumber, carpenter or joiner, you will need to train to hone your craft. 

To give a small overview, it offers people young and old the chance to gain a qualification whilst they learn on the job with a qualified professional. This allows you to learn all of the theory in a classroom whilst also learning what happens on an actual building site. 

How do I find a trade apprentice?

Through the various trades we cover at Rhino Trade Insurance, many tradespeople tell us that they find their apprentices through friends and family. Alternatively, you may advertise for a vacancy or approach a local training centre, then that would also work. 

A trade apprentice will then join you and follow a framework usually set by the training centre they attend in accordance with government guidelines. Once you have your apprentice and they are enrolled on a course, depending on the trade, how quickly they excel at it, and the work they undertake, you can expect it to take between 12 months and four years. This can be entended if specialising in a particular area. 

Once they are on the day-to-day job, you should provide more than 30 hours of work per week to the apprentice. Also, the current UK minimum wage for all apprentices in their first year is £2.65 per hour. 

Even though this is the legal requirement, tradesmen and women across the UK sometimes decide to pay more and offer better benefits either through gifting tools, treating them to breakfast or a nice Christmas bonus. 

Who pays for a trade apprentice?

In the UK, you have the National Apprenticeship Service that pays for the following:

  • If your apprentice is aged between 16 and 18, the NAS will cover 100% of the training costs for the apprentice.
  • If your apprentice is between the ages of 18 and 24, they will pay 50% of the costs. 
  • If the apprentice is over 24 years old, the NAS will cover up to 40% of the cost of training. 

Added to this, an apprentice's wages are paid for by the employer, so it comes out of your own pocket. An added benefit of the National Apprentice Service, though, is that they offer grants of £1,500 per apprentice that are aged between 16 and 24. The only stipulation is that your company doesn't hire more than 1000 people and hasn't had an apprentice in the last 12 months. 

Is a trade apprentice classed as an employee?

In the UK, an apprentice is classed by law as an employee. So unless you are ready to take on a trade apprentice as a tradesman or woman, we'd recommend making sure all of your affairs are in order before taking on another pair of hands. 

Therefore, an apprentice should be given an employment contract with all their details included, such as pay, working hours, holiday entitlement, sick days and so on. If you don't know much about employment rights, find out more here

When taking on an employee or, more specifically, a trade apprentice, you must know your responsibilities for their health and safety. That's why you need to have Employers' Liability Insurance as a minimum before hiring any staff members. 

What trade insurance do I need?

Well, as a tradesperson, it's not worth leaving the house unless you have Public Liability Insurance. When you have an employee or a trade apprentice, you MUST (by law) have Employers' Liability Insurance

At Rhino Trade Insurance, this starts at just £6.07 a month and covers you in case an employee damages a customer's property, injures themselves or a member of the public or causes accidental death, all whilst undertaking the work you set for them. 

Why Choose Rhino Trade Insurance?

Whether you are looking to take on an apprentice or just searching for quality trade insurance at an excellent price, we are here to help. Our experts are right at the end of the phone, waiting to help you get the right policy you need now. 

What's more, our insurance geniuses have designed amazing, tailored cover for each individual trade. Get a quick and easy quote online

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