Information for Employers - The Recruitment

How do I start?

Always start off by putting together a good job description. A job description and person specification helps manage expectations from the start.

What next?

Find the right training provider for your requirements, discuss your job description and agree next steps.

Recruitment channels

  1. Your training provider should list the vacancy on the National Apprenticeship Service ‘Find An Apprenticeship’ site – the official online recruitment site for Apprenticeships in England
  2. All vacancies listed on the ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ site are streamed live to the Oxfordshire Apprentices website. We also promote vacancies through social media and at careers events
  3. Your training provider may already have suitable candidates, or may do some additional promotion/advertising for you
  4. You can promote your vacancy free-of-charge via Oxfordshire County Council’s Opportunities Team who will advertise your Apprenticeship locally on www.oxme.info, Oxfordshire’s website for young people. They also do mail-outs to local young jobseekers and job clubs. Email your vacancy details to opportunities@oxfordshire.gov.uk or telephone 01865 328460
  5. Use other recruitment channels, including web recruitment sites and your organisation's social media
  6. Word-of-mouth. Never underestimate how effective “putting the word about” can be!

Could I leave it all to a training provider?

Yes you can, but the Apprentice will be YOUR employee so you should be involved as you would for any other recruitment.

Should I interview applicants?

Yes – the selection process for an Apprentice is the same as for any other employee.

Is the interview process the same as for experienced employees?

Essentially yes. However, young candidates may not have had much, or any, experience of attending interviews, so you might wish to adapt your interview process to help get the best from them. For example:

  • Ask existing young employees and Apprentices to act as ushers during the interview process, which may encourage them to ask questions they may not feel confident to ask managers
  • Try to create an informal and supportive environment to encourage the candidates to relax 
  • If they are struggling to answer questions, help them out by using probing questions
  • Rather than using conventional interview techniques, it may be better to use a more informal approach by assessing their enthusiasm and motivation rather than academic credentials and existing skills
  • If they aren't successful, make sure you inform them and provide any feedback on how they could improve. This may be their first experience of applying for a job, so any advice you can provide will encouarge, rather than dishearten, them

Our Employer Toolkit gives lots of tips to help you with the selection and recruitment of Apprentices.

Is there a specific Apprentice contract?

An Apprentice Agreement must exist between employer and employee. This can usually be achieved with a standard statement of particulars, a contract of employment or a letter of engagement.   You should be especially clear about whether the Apprentice is guaranteed employment after they have completed their Apprenticeship or whether the employment is fixed-term to only cover their period of Apprenticeship. For more information on this, visit www.gov.uk.

What if things don’t work out? Do I have to see the whole thing through?

Of course not – provided you’ve got a clear contract/Apprentice Agreement in place that covers probationary period, reviews etc. However, a major advantage of having a good training provider is that they can help to identify and solve any potential problems that may arise.