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Apprentices? Yes or No

EYFS Nursery Training Policies

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#1 Bluebell1

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 02:16 PM

Hi

We are investigating taking on an apprentice. Have heard mixed reviews from employers in other sectors. Does any one have experience good or bad that could help us with the decision.

Thanks

Ann and Jo at Putnoe Woods Preschool



#2 Rebecca

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 02:26 PM

We have always had apprentices and have often found them to be excellent and have generally taken them on after they have qualified. We have clear 'rules' though ...

  • They have a clear probation period before they start their course and if they're not up to it they don't stay - that works both ways, sometimes it's not the job they thought it was. 
  • They are not included in ratios as a rule, except for emergencies, they are 'float' staff which gives them experience across the nursery
  • Sometimes they need 'mothering' they are often quite young and are encountering issues for the first time - boyfriend issues, falling out with parents etc

We have had 2 or 3 bad experiences (those that didn't view it as work and saw it as an extension to school) but on the whole, we definitely think they're worth it - more than half of our staff started with us as apprentices - Don't forget though, they have different employment rights to other workers


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#3 GFCCCC

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 02:47 PM

My answer would be identical to Rebecca's answer (Although i'm not sure about the bit at the end regarding employment rights - my understanding is that apprentices have exactly the same employment rights as all other employees) 



#4 Rebecca

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 02:51 PM

My answer would be identical to Rebecca's answer (Although i'm not sure about the bit at the end regarding employment rights - my understanding is that apprentices have exactly the same employment rights as all other employees) 

They have additional rights - we had a situation which with a usual member of staff would have been dismissal for gross misconduct (not safeguarding btw) and when we tried to terminate her contract we were told by acas (I think) that there is a clause saying that if they do not finish their studies you can be responsible for 'damaging their life chances' - I'll have a look and see what it was exactly.

 

This covers it a bit: it's from a Legal Q&A

 

Q For how long should an apprenticeship last?

 
Apprenticeships will typically be for a fixed duration. This can range from a number of months to several years, depending on the time reasonably needed to acquire the skills or qualification in question.
 
Importantly, it is only possible to terminate an apprenticeship early in rare cases, generally only for serious misconduct (as outlined below). In theory, incapacity could be a reason for termination, although the bar for incapacity would be very high and an employer should usually delay the apprenticeship rather than terminate it. If an apprentice has their contract terminated unfairly, they can receive significantly higher than normal damages for wrongful dismissal to compensate them for loss of wages, loss of training and loss of status. If they have the required qualifying service, they can also claim compensation for unfair dismissal.
 
Apprentices are, though, expressly excluded from the regulations covering fixed-term employment.

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#5 GFCCCC

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:31 PM

Thanks - I did not know this. It's not really fair because even though it's important that apprentices are given the opportunity to learn and not used as cheap labour, they should still meet the requirements of their contract like all other workers. For example, what would happen if they were consistently late/not keeping on top of their college work/ performing their duties poorly/off sick regularly ?? 

I would definitely terminate the contract of an apprentice if they were not suitable employees.   


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#6 Bluebell1

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:13 AM

Thanks for the replies. It was the protected status that was worrying us. We have recruited from placement students but never apprentices, so can see the benefit of "training your own".







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