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Taking on an Apprentice, would you?

The Dude

Distinguished Member
Has anyone here ever 'officially' taken an apprentice on? Was the little bit of funding worth the little(?) bit of hassle?

I'd normally just do things off the books when I'm giving somebody a leg up, but thinking about doing things properly this time around.

There's a lad working in a local shop who's interested in getting into IT, he's young, pretty, he's got people skills and he knows his beer. I'm thinking it may be time to try and lure him to the dark side, but I'm fairly sure he'd want something proper (or rather his scary dad would) in place.

It kind of goes against my 'leaf in the wind' business plan, so I'm trying to talk myself both into and out of getting something sorted out for him.

Does anyone have any experience with ( or AS ) a gov funded apprentice?


Thanks in advance, feel free to PM if you don't want to discuss your business on here. :)
 

jaguar180180

Prominent Member
He’s pretty?pretty good at his job?
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
He’s pretty?pretty good at his job?

Oh he's pretty.
He'd be like catnip in an accounts payable office.
In the small business world, these things need to be considered. :D



I first thought I'd talked about this in another thread here a few years back, but couldn't find anything.

It almost sounds too good to be true from what I've read so far online, I'm wondering if there's a 'catch' or if it's more the case of ignorant tradesmen or uninterested kids? Seems weird that I can't think of anybody in my phonebook with an apprentice, when I know so many people who should? (if I've understood properly)
 

gameover16

Banned
I have an apprentice and the most annoying part for me is the amount of assessment work they do, course work, exam prepping, etc... He seems to be constantly buried in some work and when he finally gets some time for on the job tasks he's due a week out for some training or something or other...

As you said it, you run the risk of getting someone uninterested and I'm also battling with this... In my line of work, it's not a 9-5 go home and switch off until the next day sort of job, especially if you want to keep up with how fast the industry moves... It takes years of hard work to get good at it, it includes personal sacrifice so you need to be passionate about it... I'm yet to see any of these qualities in my apprentice, who would rather sit in the pub every night, I get they're young and want to go out, but you see these people all of the time, only want to do the minimum amount of work to get through the day, get paid, and get down the pub.. I like working with the overachievers, the restless and passionate... they seem to be hard to come by these days.

Rambled on a bit there so tldr: it hasn't been worth the hassle (yet).
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
It sounds like we live in similar worlds.
I tend to work 5 hour days, with a no notice 16+ hour day thrown in every now and then, usually just when I need it least. I can see how this could be a problem with regards to taking on a teenager.

The college/coursework thing was def. one of my concerns, so that's interesting to hear.

I've kind of hand picked my candidate so I don't think I've got any worries from the character side of things, his current employer is a friend of mine whos been dreading losing him since he started there on a paper round in his school days.

I'm guessing your lad was a stranger? If he was a younger prettier version of you and seemingly just as keen, would the college side of things be more bearable do you think, or still a giant pain in the arse?
 

jaguar180180

Prominent Member
Oh he's pretty.
He'd be like catnip in an accounts payable office.
In the small business world, these things need to be considered. :D



I first thought I'd talked about this in another thread here a few years back, but couldn't find anything.

It almost sounds too good to be true from what I've read so far online, I'm wondering if there's a 'catch' or if it's more the case of ignorant tradesmen or uninterested kids? Seems weird that I can't think of anybody in my phonebook with an apprentice, when I know so many people who should? (if I've understood properly)
Just with talk of luring him to the dark side an all:eek:
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Seriously though what has his prettiness got to do with anything?

I may be misreading this, but there seems to be strong references to how he (a young male school-leaver) physically looks.

Are you in the fashion/modelling business?
 

MrSossidge

Distinguished Member
Seriously though what has his prettiness got to do with anything?

I may be misreading this, but there seems to be strong references to how he (a young male school-leaver) physically looks.

Are you in the fashion/modelling business?
Completely agree. It's coming across a bit weird IMO.
 

Ste7en

Distinguished Member
Creepy thread alert!

Also, I'm not sure how doing something 'off the books' would give anyone a leg up. Me, I'd take on an apprentice... but the last one I had nicked my wand and made all my mops come to life!
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
From the other side I know kids that have done government apprenticeships and to be honest I haven't been impressed. The government insist on a degree of college attendance (1 day per week I think) or some sort of formalised training.

So you get decent companies doing the right thing. And you get less-decent companies ignorring that and in fact just using the 'apprentice' and cheap labour.

The government are meant to monitor the apprenticeship but from what I have seen they don't.

So most of the apprenticeships I have seen (from the young person's point of view) have been abusing the system, just taking them on as cheap labour, not providing any development and then not following through properly at the end of the apprenticeship (offering a job or moving to the next level of apprenticeship). Also not providing the necessary completion certificates for the young person to use in applications elsewhere.

So overall, I'm not that impressed with the government scheme implementations that I have seen - I'm sure there are better ones though. But overall, if you are a decent employer (I'm sure you are) I reckon you could probably do better yourself.

One thing though - what were you intending paying. Under the apprenticeship scheme you can pay less than minimum wage (justified by the element of training). I imagine if you go your own way you would have to pay at least minimum wage.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
I've always had apprentices since starting this company. I never done anything official in terms of any "apprenticeship" scheme but paid the correct amount as per gov guidelines. I get to teach them my way of doing things and get a good few years out of them. They always want to move on to more high profile work but they always come back and freelance for me. TBH I really enjoy giving someone that start and that education that you can't really get in UNI. Hands on practical experience in the workplace.
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
Seriously though what has his prettiness got to do with anything?

I may be misreading this, but there seems to be strong references to how he (a young male school-leaver) physically looks.

Are you in the fashion/modelling business?


Seriously? :rolleyes:


My business is small business IT services, 75% of the people who matter the most to my business are middle aged women.
I've watched middle aged women blush as they pass him the money for a pint of milk, he caught me grinning at this one morning and told me "I get it all the time."

Ask any good looking IT support guy about working in offices full of older women and he'll have a dozen 'I've got a man under my desk/between my legs' stories to tell.

They do it too, its not just us. :smashin:
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
So overall, I'm not that impressed with the government scheme implementations that I have seen - I'm sure there are better ones though. But overall, if you are a decent employer (I'm sure you are) I reckon you could probably do better yourself.

Useful post, thanks Nigel. That's essentially the dilemma I currently have.

I've helped a few friends kids get into IT jobs by getting them skilled shadowing me on a casual, cash in hand 'I'll ring when i've got something for you to see' basis, but the lad in question isn't going to swap his 'safe' part time job for casual work for me, even if I'm paying him way more, I know that his dad wouldn't have it.

He's really got the moves with customers, that's 95% of the requirements filled from my point of view. His current boss thinks he'd be up for an apprenticeship, but I've got doubts as to whether that's a direction I want to go in? I've changed my mind at least a dozen times over the past week.. :confused:
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
I've always had apprentices since starting this company. I never done anything official in terms of any "apprenticeship" scheme but paid the correct amount as per gov guidelines. I get to teach them my way of doing things and get a good few years out of them. They always want to move on to more high profile work but they always come back and freelance for me. TBH I really enjoy giving someone that start and that education that you can't really get in UNI. Hands on practical experience in the workplace.

That's what i've always done, really just casual cash in hand work when I need some help or i've got something useful to show somebody. A few years ago I took a friends kid out for a week installing wifi on a Caravan site, he works for Cisco now and teaches me things haha.

I love teaching people what I know and i'm happy doing things my way, I've got this 'proper apprenticeship' dilemma with this kid though which is proving tricky to get my head around what to do.

Thanks for the feedback :)
 

busterbenny2001

Distinguished Member
What have you got to lose?
I’d love to take one on but my bakery isn’t big enough for an extra staff member, the lad sounds promising go with your gut?
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
Overall I think that's where I'm at, until around 10.45 when I'll change my mind again.

The counter argument in my head is that the whole point of giving up my corporate job and going it alone was the 100% flexibility. As of today, if I decide to jack it all in I just give my regular customers enough time to find somebody else and I'm done.

I think it's probably just the commitment aspect I'm worried over, as I'd never screw anybody over even if it meant screwing myself instead.
I've got a tidy, very profitable small business with almost zero admin, changing this feels like a bigger deal than striking out on my own, oddly enough? :)
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
Seriously? :rolleyes:


My business is small business IT services, 75% of the people who matter the most to my business are middle aged women.
I've watched middle aged women blush as they pass him the money for a pint of milk, he caught me grinning at this one morning and told me "I get it all the time."

Ask any good looking IT support guy about working in offices full of older women and he'll have a dozen 'I've got a man under my desk/between my legs' stories to tell.

They do it too, its not just us. :smashin:
When I did that many moons ago, I actually brought in some treats and even flowers when they arrange and made certain those awkward sales people and directors laptops were actually there when we need them.

I can appreciate it may come across as a little creepy, but you can get a lot done through understanding how it really works.

I started my career on an apprentice, and I was one of those who didn't actually wanted it as I had other plans. But it was the easy option, and in the end it was a good choice. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with how the apprentice system works in the UK. Can you actually pick and choose who you want and be in compliance?

Many moons ago (again) we met this young chicken farmer in a bar in Harrogate. He was a bit cocky (no pun intended) and rather forward to us. But our CEO of the time was a Yorkshire man as well. Anyway we liked his attitude, and several beers later we offered him a job down south which was literally man/van/install computers on desks. We weren't wrong in giving him that opportunity. Nearly every day after the core job he was in our 'lab' educating himself. Often after that I took him for a beer/curry to finish the day and recognise what he was doing.

Today he is still one of the best I know. Attitude and aptitude are very important.

Good luck with your decision...
 

Sandman

Distinguished Member
Please don’t employ any young lad (or lass) the basis of how pretty they are. It is creepy regardless of how you justify it.
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
Perhaps you'd prefer it if I used the phrase 'well groomed' ? :D
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Glorified tea boys in the building trade. Least if they're slow with the tea you can shoot them with your nail gun. They soon hurry up, or quit. Either works!
 

stuart07970

Prominent Member
Just follow your gut...
I took on three at the same time about four years ago.
The first one quit after two weeks due to family problems
The second one got fired after six weeks
The third one literally disappeared after five months, and about a week after we spent about £300 on forklift training.
 

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