Employ an apprentice

Recruiting apprentices enables employers to fill the skills gaps that exist within their current workforce as apprentices begin to learn sector specific skills from day one.

Apprenticeships are effective at increasing productivity, improving business performance and ensuring a committed and competent workforce.

What is an apprentice?

Apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying for a work-based qualification – from GCSEs or equivalent up to degree level.

Apprentices can be new or current employees.

How do I employ an apprentice?

Its best to first decide which apprenticeship framework is right for your business and at what level.

Skills for Security offers a range of apprenticeships for the security industry and can advise you on the best framework for your business.

Once you have decided on the framework you can then choose to either:

  1. train a current member of staff
  2. or advertise an apprenticeship position on the National Apprenticeship Service.

Skills for Security offer employers a complete service, free of charge, to help them advertise, recruit and set up an apprenticeship programme and will support employers and learners throughout their apprenticeship.

To begin your apprenticeship journey, please complete the application form below and email it to info@skillsforsecurity.org.uk who will process your application. Should you wish to talk through your options with a team member, please call 01905 744 000.

Vacancy Application Form


Am I eligible for funding?

Employers in England maybe eligible for a grant or funding to employ an apprentice.


You may get a £1,500 apprenticeship grant if:

  • you have less than 50 employees
  • your apprentice is aged 16 to 24

You can claim support for up to 5 apprentices.


The amount of funding you could get for training an apprentice varies depending on whether the candidate is:

  • aged 16 to 18 – you can get all of their course costs up to advanced level apprenticeship qualifications, eg higher diplomas or A-levels
  • aged 19 to 23 – you can get half of their course costs
  • 24 years and older – you may only get a contribution

For further advice and clarification contact Skills for Security.

What is expected?

You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage during their placement with you.

Your apprentice must:

  • work with experienced staff
  • learn job-specific skills
  • study for a work-based qualification during their working week, eg at a college or training organisation

Apprenticeships can last from 1 to 4 years, depending on the level of qualification the apprentice is studying for and employment will normally be a minimum of 30 hours per week.


Helpful hints for selecting & managing apprentices

Although training requires investment, it is fundamental to helping improve business performance and the statistics below demonstrate the benefits of choosing an apprentice:

  • 80% of those employers who employ apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive.
  • 81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on apprentices.
  • 88% of employers who employ apprentices believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
  • 83% of employers who employ apprentices rely on the apprenticeship programme to provide the skilled workers that they need for the future.
  • 77% of employers believe apprenticeships make them more productive.
  • 80% of employers feel that apprenticeships reduce staff turnover.

Therefore, employing the right apprentice is an important business decision and thought needs to be given as to why you have decided to take on an apprentice. Will your company be able to give them the variety of work to achieve the qualifications that make up their apprenticeship? Remember that your apprentice must have a full contract of employment for at least 30 hours per week.

You will also have to ensure that you have considered health and safety and safeguarding – areas that may be new to you, particularly safeguarding and you may have to do some training yourself.

Support for the apprentice – this includes support in the workplace and financial support in terms of travel to training etc.

Skills for Security will be able to provide advice and guidance in all of these areas and our Business Development team will be happy to talk through any queries you might have so please do contact us if you have questions that we can help answer for you.

Selecting Potential Apprentices

Once you have made the decision to recruit an apprentice you might like to consider the following when putting your advert together:

  • Give as much information as possible on what the role involves and the learning that will be required. Skills for Security will be able to provide information on the qualifications your apprentice will take.
  • Remember to stipulate the hours – will the apprentice need to work longer hours on occasion, will there be any weekend or evening work? Will the apprentice be required to travel?
  • Are there any specific skills needed e.g. will the apprentice need to go up a ladder or use any particular tools?
  • What support will you put in place to help your apprentice work towards their qualifications – will they have a mentor in your company, will there be allocated time for learning or will the apprentice have to spend additional time at home studying?
  • Do you want your apprentice to have good GCSE grades for the role that they will carry out – make sure that this is specified in the advert if this is important. Remember that if your apprentice does not already have the required GCSE qualifications in English, Maths and IT they will have to complete Functional Skills as part of their apprenticeship programme.

Advertise the placement available to the widest pool of potential apprentices.

  • Skills for Security will upload the details to Vacancies On-Line, a free service offered by the National Apprenticeship Service.
  • Job Centre– your local job centre can advertise your apprentice opportunity.
  • Your local authority may have a service where they advertise apprenticeship vacancies.
  • Local schools/sixth forms/colleges may have a careers adviser who can advertise your apprenticeship.

Interviewing Applicants

You are likely to have applications from young people who have limited work experience and might like to consider:

  • The age of apprentice being recruited – if recruiting a young person they may not have experience of interviews, nor any work experience to discuss at interview. Should you run the interviews slightly differently?
  • Would a one day assessment be more appropriate where you can give the potential apprentice the opportunity to have a go at something they will do as part of their job role. You will then be able to assess their aptitude and enthusiasm for the task.
  • Would it be appropriate for short listed applicants to undertake an afternoon’s work experience with a qualified member of the team so that they and you can get a feel for whether the role is for them? (You will need to check your public liability insurance will cover work experience and if the potential apprentice is under 18 you will also need to ensure that they are a supervised by an appropriate adult at all times)
  • When inviting potential applicants in for interview, should you send something for the applicants’ parents to sign to confirm that they are happy to support their child completing the apprenticeship?

College Attendance

  • You will be sending your apprentice to college either one day per week or for five days at a time every five to six weeks. During the interview you should discuss travel arrangements with the applicant.
  • Are they able to travel?
  • What additional support do you need to put in place if the Apprentice has never travelled or stayed away from home before?
  • What about the cost of travel – you will need to ensure that you provide expenses for your apprentice to travel to and from college and, possibly, accommodation?
  • Should you arrange to go and see the College where your apprentice will be studying? Skills for Security will be happy to help book an appointment to visit.Your apprentice is likely to be new to the workplace and you will need to:

Supporting Your Apprentice

  • Set clear work plans and perhaps allocate one person to provide support for the apprentice. Do you have an experienced employee who could act as a mentor for your apprentice?
  • Review progress with the apprentice regarding their job role and their qualifications on a regular basis.
  • Provide support for the apprentice in completing their qualifications – do they need to do anything different to complete one of their modules or are they covering all aspects of the learning in their job role?
  • Are they confident enough to ask questions or do you need to work with them to build up their confidence?
  • Should you provide pay increments as they make progress and achieve the qualifications within the apprenticeship?
  • Remember that the apprentice is likely to have limited knowledge of policies and procedures within the workplace and may not understand the standards of behaviour that is normal within the workplace – what support are you able to put in place to help them develop this knowledge?
  • What opportunities for progression are open to your apprentice? Start talking to them about progression as they are working towards achieving their apprenticeship as this will build confidence and commitment. As you have seen from the statistics outlined in the first paragraph, employing an apprentice offers a wide range of benefits for your company and we have put this document together to help you choose the right person for your business.

We hope that we have achieved this but please contact us if you think of any other questions that you need answering.



The Locksmith Apprenticeship is professionally delivered and should be the only avenue a trainee locksmith should consider.

There is a lifetime of positive career progression for those starting with a Locksmith Apprenticeship and the support that is given to trainees is fantastic which continues on in their professional career.


Dennis Bainbridge

Owner, Leeds Alarm & Lock Centre