We explore some of the practicalities of taking on an apprentice, including the ‘grab a grand’ scheme, apprentice pay rates and the new Trailblazer standards. We also hear from the inspirational Melissa Timperley who started out as an apprentice with Sassoon and now runs an award-winning salon in Manchester.
This blog post covers:
- Apprenticeships: what’s new?
- ‘Grab a grand’ if you take on a young salon apprentice
- Apprenticeship levy and funding
- Case study: from apprentice to award-winning salon owner
- Apprentice pay rates: don’t be caught out
- Apprentices: a top source of talent
Make sure you understand the changes that came into effect in May last year. In England only, apprenticeship frameworks are being phased out and replaced by ‘Trailblazer’ standards.
“Trailblazer standards for level 2 are now government-approved and they are set at a higher standard as they include a wider range of skills than the older apprenticeship frameworks; with Trailblazer standards, apprentices will develop all the skills they need to work in a salon or barbershop,” says Hilary Hall, CEO of the NHF, which offers Members free apprenticeship agreements for salons across the UK, including the new Trailblazer agreements for England.
Reforms are also underway in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – check online for updates at Skills Development Scotland (www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk), Welsh Government (gov.wales) and the Northern Ireland Assembly (www.niassembly.gov.uk).
If your barbershop business has fewer than 50 employees, you and your training provider will each receive an incentive payment of £1,000 for each 16-18-year-old (or 19-24-year-old who has been in care or has a local authority care plan) apprentice you take on. Find out more about the funding you may be entitled to on the GOV.UK website.
From 6 April 2017, employers who have a pay bill of over £3 million a year must pay an apprenticeship levy.
If you do not have to pay the levy and don’t qualify for the ‘grab a grand’ scheme (see above) you will need to pay 10% (around £900) towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice, with the government paying 90%.
If you’re thinking of taking on an apprentice, find out more by downloading the NHF’s free expert Apprenticeships Guide. NHF Members also benefit from free apprentice agreements, help and advice from our friendly membership team on 01234 831965 and access to the free 24/7 legal helpline.
From April 2018, apprentice rates will rise from £3.50 to £3.70 an hour.
But don’t be caught out: an apprentice aged 19 or over must get the National Minimum Wage appropriate for their age in the second year of their apprenticeship. For example, £5.90 (from April 2018) for 18-20-year-olds.
It’s important to get this right because employers who underpay can be fined up to £20,000 and publicly ‘named and shamed’ by the government.
However, official figures show a further decline in the number of people starting apprenticeships, with a 27% drop from August to October in 2017, compared with the same period in 2016. Figures for hairdressing, barbering and beauty apprenticeships have not fallen as steeply (around 8%, 11% and 9% respectively), but a 2017 survey carried out by the NHF found that 39% of hairdressing, barbering and beauty employees found recruiting apprentices difficult, while 33% find it very difficult.
NHF CEO Hilary Hall said: “Unfortunately, many salons are currently struggling to recruit apprentices, but don’t give up. Employing an apprentice is your chance to offer someone a great opportunity while also growing your own loyal talent and bringing a young person’s energy, creativity and ideas to your business.
“As an industry, we need to do more to attract talented young people into apprenticeships. This may include paying more than the National Minimum Wage or taking on older apprentices who tend to learn much more quickly and therefore become income earners more quickly, even though they cost employers more.”
- Check out the Trailblazer standards for England.
- Keep an eye on reforms in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
- ‘Grab a grand’ if you take on a young apprentice.
- Understand the apprenticeship levy and funding if you’re a very large employer.
- Don’t be caught out by apprentice pay rate rules.