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Employer apprenticeship information


An apprentice is someone who will:

  • Usually be a young person – however there is no upper age limit to the apprenticeship scheme
  • Work full-time (at least 35 hours per week) alongside an experienced employee to learn specific skills sets
  • Receive training including training towards nationally recognised Qualifications such as NVQs or VRQ’s
  • Earn a salary while learning in an expert environment while their employer is subsidised for training them
  • Is someone who can help employers, in a cost-effective way, to grow the next generation of skilled staff


The employer may benefit from:

  • Improved productivity – statistics indicate that 80% of employers that employ apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive
  • Upskilling or reskilling their workforce – one in five employers are now hiring more apprentices to help them navigate the economic climate
  • Fresh ideas
  • Enthusiasm and loyalty - 92% of employers who have apprentices agree that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce
  • A reduction in staff turnover resulting in fewer skill-related vacancies and reduced recruitment costs
  • Customer satisfaction - 81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on apprentices

 *Note: statistics aresourced from UK Data from 2016

Who can you employ as an apprentice

You may employ anyone who you consider to be suitable for your business and the occupation they will be training towards. There is no upper age limit.

You will, however, need to be mindful of the Control of Employment Act 2014 and apply for a work permit for anyone who is not classed as an Isle of Man Worker.

Alternatively, you may already have someone existing within your business who you would like to put forward for a formal apprenticeship. This is a great way to upskill and nurture the talent already under your roof.

Recruitment of apprentices

You can recruit your apprentice in the same way as you would a regular member of staff, perhaps by advertising the position in the local press and/or posting it as a JobCentre vacancy listing.

Additionally the Training Services team will be on hand to help you with the recruitment process provide assistance in finding and selecting suitable candidates.

Apprenticeship pre-qualifications

The requirement of pre-qualifications will depend entirely on the apprenticeship being undertaken. Some training requires no previous knowledge or qualifications where others may require a minimum level of academic achievement (such as GCSEs).

After you have recruited an apprentice

As soon as you have chosen your apprentice, contact Training Services to register the individual and arrange completion of the necessary paperwork. You will then be able to access funding through the Skills Development Scheme 2007 (SDS). Consideration will also be given to meeting the cost of any courses or technical qualifications that are required to complete the apprenticeship.

Starting employment

You can start your apprentice’s employment at any time - just contact Training Services to formalise the agreement and discuss training courses and options.

Keep in mind that the formal training element of the apprenticeship may be time bound with many courses starting in line with the academic year - generally in September.

Apprenticeship structure

Depending on the specific trade, the apprenticeship will likely be made up of a combination of technical qualifications and/or on-site experience. The technical certificates, should they be required, will most likely be obtained through college attendance and passing the necessary exams, assessments and/or tests.

In addition to the technical qualifications your apprentice will need to serve the minimum stipulated period of time in the workplace, working within their chosen trade or occupation, prior to becoming a fully qualified in their field.

You will need to give your apprentice regular feedback on their progress and liaise with the Craft Supervisors team at Training Services if necessary.

Further trade specific information may be obtained from a member of Training Services apprenticeship team.


Generally, your apprentice will gain their qualifications through assignments and work based assessments which will take place either at college or on site/in the workplace throughout the apprenticeship.

A Training Supervisor and/or assessor will meet with you and your apprentice regularly to ensure that their training schedule is progressing well and that the relevant experience and technical knowledge is being gained at the appropriate level.

Contract of employment

The apprentice will be employed pretty much along the lines of any of your regular employees and so will need to have a Terms and Conditions of Employment established.

The Manx Industrial Relations Service (MIRS) will be happy to offer guidance relating to employee contracts. Guidance is also available in their handbook.

Salary and pay

  • apprentices training under a formal DESC apprenticeship agreement, and who are between the ages of 16 to 19 are currently exempt from minimum wage legislation – you may therefore pay them an agreed ‘Training Wage’ which will reflect their contribution to your company and take into account your investment in time dedicated to their training, guidance and mentoring
  • apprentices between the ages of 19 and 24 are exempt (as above) from Minimum Wage Legislation for the first 12 months of their apprenticeship – after this period you will need to pay the relevant minimum wage
  • an apprentice who is 25 years of age or over will be entitled to receive the minimum wage

You can, off course, pay more than this if you wish!

In determining the level of pay for your apprentice, please bear in mind the level of support you will be entitled to through the Skills Development Scheme.

Holiday and leave entitlement

Your apprentice will be entitled to a minimum of 20 days paid leave per year in addition to the Manx Public and Bank Holidays.

Length of apprenticeship

This will depend on the trade or occupation, and the level to which the apprentice will be working towards. But generally speaking, most apprenticeships will take between 2 to 4 years to complete.

Employer financial assistance

You will receive assistance, in line with the rates outlined in Appendix III of the SDS. Additionally, the SDS document further outlines the workings and payment schedules of the apprenticeship scheme.

Required paperwork

Apprenticeships don’t require much paperwork or administration from the employer and Training Services staff will be available to help you with all the relevant documents throughout the training period, should assistance be required.

Potential employment issues

Your apprentice should be treated as any other employee within your organisation. As such there are no additional burdens to their employment status through the Department of Education, Sport and Culture’s involvement in the apprenticeship. However, the Training Services team will be on hand to offer mentoring or mediation if any difficulties arise during the apprenticeship period.

Should the apprenticeship ultimately neither work out due to the employee not meeting the required standard of the training or by failing to fulfil their obligation under their Terms and Conditions of Employment then they shall be treated in the same way as any other employee and you may well terminate their employment.

After completion of training

Once the training, under the terms of the apprenticeship, has been completed you will have the choice to offer the apprentice a permanent contract to remain with you after which they can continue to improve their knowledge of the trade by undertaking further qualifications. A limited level of funding can be offered by Training Services under the Vocational Training Financial Support Scheme (VTFSS).

It’s worth noting that most apprentices will stay with their employer where possible as they will, by now, be adding significant value to you as the employer bringing commitment and productivity.

Contact information 

Ray Sloane
Training Administration Manager & Craft Training Supervisor
+44 1624 687088

Simon Brummitt
Craft Training Supervisor (Construction)
+44 1624 687155

We are here to guide you through the processes involved in the taking on of an apprentice, from recruitment to accessing funding from the department through to understanding what’s expected of the trainee during their training with the aim of helping you to make the most of the Apprenticeship Scheme knowing that ultimately the employer, the apprentice and the island benefits.

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