Recruit an Apprentice

  • The term apprenticeship is legally protected and describes a contractual relationship between an employer (like Brookes), an apprentice (a person newly recruited to a post  or one of your existing team members), and a learning provider (a partner you select to provide learning and development to nationally prescribed Standards). At the heart of this relationship is a job with training: the key to the recruitment process is to build a plan that clearly involves employer, apprentice and learning provider using the best information and providers.

    (Insert 3 way contract diagram from slideshow) 

    HR and OCSLD are working together and will help you set up a recruitment process and find the apprentice to suit your vacancy.

    We will also help you write and design job descriptions to create posts that will reflect changes to skills and knowledge that you want in your team.

    • Identify potential in your team; discuss your idea with your potential apprentice, identify potential in your team

    • Explore the Register of Approved Standards to find the apprenticeship title that fits your plan

    • Check the OCSLD website apprenticeship programmes that we already support and run groups for internally

    • Engage OCSLD to help you explore providers and make choices of programme

    • Agree a learning and development plan for your apprentice (that aligns with the apprentice rules)

    • Sign off your arrangement and start the process (OCSLD to sign off funds from base).

    • Identify the post (already part of your structure) that you think can go to ad with an apprenticeship offer attached (this might be a post you would routinely advertise, or a post you may have had some trouble filling) OR

    • Devise a job description (nor part of your structure so use the special apprentice contract)

    • Engage OCSLD to help you explore what sort of learning you want to put into the role

    • Engage OCSLD to help you tweak the existing JD or write the new one

    • Do your recruitment process

    • OCSLD can help you in any aspect of your recruitment process as you go along (to devise tests, help with interview questions, do your interviews, make your choices)

    • When you have your apprentice in post, OCSLD can help you to mange the learning process and link your apprentice to internal training opportunities that complement or add value to their apprentice programme

    The new rules allow us to:

    • Offer apprenticeships to existing staff as well as the classic school leaver looking for early career steps

    • Open apprenticeships to people wanting to develop at all ages (over 16)

    • Set up learning that can be mainstream or specialised, early or complex, at all levels of responsibility, using the new directory of Apprenticeship Standards

    • Open this learning to people who are already qualified, even if the level of their older qualifications is higher than the level of their proposed apprenticeship (so graduates can join in)

    • Pay for the learning element of these apprenticeships through our levy (so, outside of our current staff development allocations)

    Apprenticeships typically:

    • Last from 1 to 4 years, depending on qualifications involved

    • Are open to people over 16 who sign an apprenticeship contract with an employer and learning provider, whether they are in existing roles or whether they get recruited specially to new posts

    • Happen whilst people do their roles and JDs, to a formula of 80% on the job, and 20% learning time

    • Are supported by line-manager working with the learning provider, mentors, HR and OCSLD to enable the apprentice to progress through the experience

    • Incorporate training and development from the hundreds of roles named in the Apprenticeship Standards register

    This new landscape busts some myths about apprenticeships as being:

    • Only for the young

    • Only for school leavers in first or early jobs, or for the vocationally undecided

    • Only for people who don’t do wonderfully in the education system

    • Only for non-graduates

    • Only for practical or manual roles

    (Much of this was never true in the first place)

    • All of our full time apprentices start on £15,976 a year
    • Have flexible entry levels, with entry allowed at post-GCSE and A level
    • Lasts from one to four years, depending on the skills and levels required
    • Are available for anyone living in England, over-16 and not in full-time education
    • Are open to existing university employees making a change in their roles or careers
    • Exist in a huge range of professional area.

    There is a gathering evidence base that growing your own talent in the ways that suit your business are a key to success. A big idea in current apprenticeships is that the new vision is “employer led”: employers are at the front because govt believes that it is only they (and not the education sector) who can truly articulate what skills, knowledge and behaviours are needed to respond in the current climate.

    It is likely that if we support apprenticeships at Brookes we will:

    • Be able to choose the learning we want for our staff

    • Link our people to learning that is cutting edge

    • Encourage talent from early building blocks right through to complex role

    • Future-proof our environment by shaping apprenticeships around the skills we don’t yet have

    • Bring new talent in

    • Qualify current staff who have not had opportunity to get credits for activities they have excelled in

    • Harness the wealth of knowledge and expertise that older members of staff may like to pass on

    • Set mentoring in motion and become a collaborative and continuously learning community


    Honour the contract of employment set up for the role (so, consider the apprentice as an employee of the organisation)


    Host the apprentice for the duration of the apprenticeship (apprenticeships last 1 to 4 years depending on pathway chosen  

    Oxford Brookes is an employer of great staff that is focused on its staff experience. 

    Apprenticeships are about energy and talent and developing the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to keep our staff community agile and creative, so are a key to an effective workforce and that great staff experience. 

    Apprentices can be new recruits or - very importantly - existing staff. They can be in mainstream or specialist roles. They can be starting or furthering a chosen role or profession, or embedding or taking on a new set of skills towards a new role. They do learning at all levels and are employed by Oxford Brookes. They can be you, without change to your pay, if you are committed to developing professionally through these nationally recognised pathways.