Planning for the Apprenticeship Start

Make sure you plan carefully to give the Apprentice the best start in your company. We have some ideas here that may help you.


Identify an Apprenticeship mentor

It can be useful to consider having a mentor for new apprentices. Mentors can provide additional guidance and support outside the traditional line management set up. Through mentoring you can aim to provide motivation, increase confidence and provide role models, encourage networking and increase retention with your business.

Employees who have been apprentices themselves can be ideal for this role. When identifying a mentor for the apprentice, you may look for the following skills:


  • Objective Setting

In an on-going mentoring relationship over several months, it can be useful to set down some objectives. Objectives need to be clearly defined and prioritised, reaslistic and measurable with a deadline. Objectives for the mentee might include:

  • – Increasing knowledge in particular areas of the training, or your organisation
  • – Increasing specific skills
  • – Making important decisions
  • – Increasing confidence


Communication skills

The mentoring relationship involves face to face contact and it is important to think about the body language and posture so that the mentee knows he is being given full attention. We can show someone we are giving them our full attention by:

  • – listening rather than being preoccupied with something else
  • – use a wide range of non-verbal skills or body language
  • – making eye-contact
  • – a relaxed posture encourages a relaxed atmosphere
  • – your expression should reflect what is being said, not what you may be thinking
  • – nodding and smiling – indicate agreement and understanding
  • – allowing silence – shows patience and gives thinking time


  • How to keep your mentoring going

Some mentoring relationships become established quickly and others take longer to develop. Some mentees and mentors like to explore personal issues amongst the work ones, and others are happier exchanging just career and study information.

Here are some tips to help keep you going:

  • – Always prepare for meetings and take time writing emails
  • – Ask challenging questions to each other
  • – Keep referring back to objectives, ticking them off when they are achieved.
  • – Maintain contact with each other on a fairly regular basis – every 6-8 weeks helps give a feeling if continuity and keeps things on track.


For further advice have a look at the communication guidelines below:

Ensuring good communication between the Employer and the Apprentice


Meet the assessor

Download the guidelines to read more about the role of the assessor, the learner’s journey and progress review visits.

Meet the Assessor


Plan carefully

Prepare the Individual Learning Plan

An individual learning plan (ILP) sets out how the apprenticeship framework or standard will be achieved for each apprentice. It sets target dates for each element of the Apprenticeship training, key skills, technical certificates and achievement of the overall framework or standard. The ILP helps to determine timely success: it includes delivery and assessment methods, support, and additional qualifications/training opportunities. This is a ‘live’ document; it is used and updated continually throughout training so that everyone involved in training the apprentice understands their role. The employer, the learner and the assessor should be involved in scoping out the content.


Be ready for the health and safety audit

The workplace can be a dangerous place, in which tragic and fatal accidents sometimes occur. Young people are particularly vulnerable in a working environment, especially when they are new to the workplace, and may have specific health and safety requirements.

Health and safety risks to apprentices are increased where employers and providers look to misuse the Apprenticeship programme to save money, rather than offer a young person a supportive, high- quality training experience.

Under the Health and Safety and Work Act 1974 young workers should receive at least the same protection as other workers. However, there are some legal provisions that apply specifically to workers aged under 18.

The training provider, who has a duty of care, will check the business place is safe for the learners and whether any action is required before the start of the Apprenticeship. Have a look at the health and safety form to familiarise yourself with the requirements.

For an employer taking on apprentices, you should make sure you cover the following points:

Risk assessment:

Complete a full risk assessment on all aspects of the apprentice’s job before the apprentice starts, taking into account the apprentice’s lack of experience.

Risk Assessment Form

Induction training:

Health and safety should be covered in the induction training and is appropriate to the kind of work that the apprentice will be doing.

Health and Safety Form


Supervisors should be trained and competent to supervise a young person and be given enough time to do so.


Make health and safety an integral part of the training that the young person receives.

Protective equipment:

The apprentice should be issued with appropriate protective clothing and equipment at no cost to them.


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