How apprenticeships work
Apprenticeships are a great way for individuals to earn while they learn gaining valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role.
Typical duration of a horticultural apprenticeship is 18-24 months dependent on the occupational area.
Apprentices can start at any time during the year, after attending an interview and completing an initial assessment to determine their suitability and eligibility.
The apprentice is required to undertake a practical period of training (off-job training) equivalent to 20% of their contracted hours. Delivery of the training will be agreed in advance with your training provider.
“Apprenticeships are a great business investment. There’s a massive skills gap in the horticultural industry and we need to attract young, trainable talent to take the industry forward.”
“An apprenticeship is a really good qualification because it’s recognised by all employers and it can lead to so many opportunities.”
Top 5 myths about the apprenticeship programme
1. 20% off-the-job training is inflexible: it has to involve 1 day off a week, spent in college
FACT: Off-the-job training does not have to involve 1 day a week spent in college. It can be delivered in a way and place that suits you and the provider, allowing the apprentice to learn the new knowledge, skills and behaviours required.
- The style and timing of the learning is very varied – it could be a block of time in a residential setting or online learning to fit in with shifts. Guidance with best practice examples is available here.
2. Providers have to advertise apprenticeship vacancies for us
FACT: As an employer you are free to advertise your own apprenticeship vacancies directly on your own websites, along with any other details including application processes. You do not have to advertise through providers.
- We also encourage you to advertise vacancies through our ‘Find an apprenticeship’ service (FAA), so that potential apprentices can find lots of vacancies all in one place. The training provider you work with must post FAA vacancies on your behalf – talk to your provider to find out more.
- From October 2018, employers will be able to post their own vacancies on ‘Recruit an apprentice,’ which will then show up on FAA.
3. Apprenticeships cannot be used for existing staff
FACT: Apprenticeships can be used to upskill and/or retrain employees of any age, including older workers or existing staff, as long as the apprenticeship is giving them new skills to enable them to achieve competence in their chosen occupation.
4. Apprenticeships are only entry level – they are for low skilled people
FACT: Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) right through to Levels 6 and 7 (equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree). Some apprenticeships may also offer additional professional qualifications, such as ACCA.
- You can check the Institute for Apprenticeships website, which is constantly being updated as new standards come online every month.
5. Apprenticeships are only for young people (16-18)
FACT: Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages; anyone over the age of 16 living in England can apply. There are different entry requirements depending on the industry, job role and apprenticeship level.
Your responsibilities as an apprentice employer
There must be a genuine job available with a contract of employment long enough for an apprentice to complete their apprenticeship.
Employers must pay an apprentice’s wages and the role must help them gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to achieve the apprenticeship with support from the employer.