Choosing the right apprenticeship programmes

5 Top Tips for Supporting an Apprentice

Stepping into the world of work for the first time is hard. New Apprentices will often feel daunted by the sheer volume of new skills to learn. Not only are they learning a new trade, but they are also learning how to interact and behave in the new environment.

With this in mind, it is essential that an effective plan is put in place to support new apprentices on their journey; this will ensure the programme is successful, with the apprentice and business both seeing significant benefits.

If you are taking on an apprentice for the first time, these top 5 tips for supporting an apprentice will help you to make sure they get the right support at the right time.


1. Allocate a mentor


Having a mentor is essential to the success of an apprenticeship programme. The mentor should be an individual with experience in the role who can share their knowledge and skills with the apprentice, in addition to acting as a point of contact for support and guidance. The mentors’ role is invaluable and will help apprentices to settle into their new team and working environment.


2. Don’t expect too much too soon


This might be an obvious one but it’s easy to forget how hard it can be when you first start working. Apprentices have to not only adapt to a new role, but also adjust to not being in education and having a regimented timetable. It takes time for apprentices to settle in and patience is the key to ensuring they transition smoothly.

Wirth this in mind, don’t pile on too much work too soon and give apprentices time to learn, practice ad perfect new skills before giving them new things to learn.


3. Show them all aspects of the business


As part of your planning; you should build in time for apprentices to observe, learn and understand all elements of the business. This will help apprentices to visualise how they fit into their work environment and understand how what they do can affect other areas of the business. 


4. Be clear on expectations


As with any employee, when setting goals and targets for apprentices, it is really important that you are clear about the outcomes expected. Use SMART targets and ensure everyone involved has an understanding of what the apprentice will be doing. Set realistic timeframes and bear in mind that apprentices will likely take longer than usual to complete tasks, at least for the first few months.


5. Have regular reviews


Apprentices will have regular reviews with their Trainer which will involve their line manager; these reviews will highlight the apprentices progress, set new targets and give feedback on performance. In addition to these reviews, you should hold regular reviews with the apprentices’ mentor, HR/L&D or someone wo is not usually directly involved n the apprentices learning. These sessions give the learner the opportunity to be open about their learning experience and their experience in the business overall.


Hiring an apprentice for the first time may feel daunting but, with guidance and support from your training provider, you can make it a successful experience for all.


If you would like to find out how to hire an apprentice, contact one of our experienced team members via our contact page.