LPC 2008 Survey of Employers

Apprentice Exemptions

Denvir A, Pearmain D, Cox A | Report 466 | Institute for Employment Studies | May 2009

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This is a qualitative study of a small sample of employers to explore in detail their perspectives on apprenticeships.

The report gathers views on issues such as: reasons for participation, current pay practices, the impact of the National Minimum Wage exemptions on employing apprentices, and likely impacts of various changes to the exemptions.

The study found that:

  • Good apprentices were perceived as valuable assets and that there was broad satisfaction with their performance, especially in their third or final years.
  • A mixed model of training provision was prevalent – typically on-the-job, which was perceived to be of great importance, with limited release for off-the-job training with external providers.
  • A small number of employers were critical of those with college-only training.
  • There was diversity in apprentice pay and the influences on pay levels included: current rates for other employees; rates in the local labour market for apprentice and non-apprentice positions; the need to attract and retain good quality apprentices; the importance of rewarding performance; and the cost of living.
  • The use of apprentice exemptions was widespread but that there were mixed views on proposed changes to these exemptions.