Apprentice Training Made Easy: A Guide for HR Leaders

Read the go-to guide for HR leaders on how to execute apprentice training programs easily and efficiently.

May 16, 2022

You gain what you train when hiring an apprentice.

There are several stakeholders in apprentice training: the CEO who sees the vision of how they can change the business, the HR leader and/or program manager who’s tasked with executing the vision, the apprentice themselves, and the mentor who is often volunteering their time. While outwardly the success of the program falls on the CEO, internally it’s the HR people who have to carry out the program.

Once a company decides to implement an apprenticeship program it often creates a lot of work for the people in HR. All of the sudden, HR isn’t just managing employees... they’re dealing with government agencies, compliance issues, and scratching their heads trying to figure out the best way to engage an apprentice (which is different from engaging a standard employee). 

Apprenticeship programs are a process of learning the skills needed for an occupation through paid training and learning under supervision and support of a manager and mentor. At the heart of an apprenticeship, you are training an employee for the skills you need for business success.

Ensuring you know what it takes to train an apprentice is highly important. We’ve created the go-to guide for HR leaders on how to execute apprentice training programs easily and efficiently. 

1. Assess what positions are a fit for apprenticeships

Before you begin, look at your entry-level positions and existing employees.

Entry-level positions make great apprenticeships because you're able to train someone to have the exact skills your company needs. This creates a talent pipeline for your company.

Existing employees often have the desire to learn but aren't being invested in, so they leave. Look to see which existing employees could be upskilled to take on the next level position.

You can find a full checklist of what you’ll need in Apprentix. Simply get started and run through the apprenticeship design process.

2. Figure out the skills you need to train up

Training all starts with transferring skills. You’ll have to do deep thinking into what skills you need at your company that can be fulfilled with an apprenticeship. We’ve written an article on the importance of skill stacking here.

3. Use skills-based hiring to recruit your apprentice

After you have assessed your internal capacity and designed your apprenticeship, you will now need to recruit, interview, and hire an apprentice.

After you fill in the details of your apprenticeship during the design stage, Apprentix will automatically generate a skills-based job description for you. Use this job description, instead of creating one based on education and experience, and you’ll open your apprenticeship up to many more qualified candidates.

Apprentix also provides you access to our database of 140+ alternative recruiting sources.

4. Sign an apprentice training agreement

Not everyone deems this step necessary. However, it can be helpful to add into your typical hiring contract to ensure all parties are on the same page.

If you choose to send out an apprentice training agreement, all parties will sign an apprentice training agreement confirming the terms of the apprenticeship. This ensures everyone involved understands the nature of the apprentice training. 

Apprentix will automatically generate this agreement for you and allows you and your apprentice to sign online.

5. Onboard your apprentice 

This is when you get your newly-hired apprentice set up on Apprentix’s apprenticeship software so apprentice training is smooth sailing.

With Apprentix, onboarding an apprentice for training is simple. Simply add the apprentice’s name, email, and start date, and the apprentice will receive an inbox notification to self-onboard and enter in the rest of their information. 

6. Provide the apprentice with On-The-Job training 

As the apprenticeship employer/sponsor, you are responsible for training your apprentice on the skills set out in the apprenticeship job description. You can accomplish this apprentice training with a combination of classroom learning and On-The-Job learning. What and how much of each is determined during the design of your apprenticeship. You will need to ensure the classroom and On-The-Job apprentice training actually happens throughout the course of the apprenticeship.

7. Track your apprentice training progress 

To ensure apprentice training via classroom and On-The-Job learning is successful, you will need to track your apprenticeship. If you choose to federally register, you will also need to demonstrate certain tracking progress reports. You can measure your apprentice’s training progress with a combination of practical and theory assessments or by closely monitoring their daily tasks.

In Apprentix, all stakeholders in the apprenticeship can use the software to track your apprentice training progress. Apprentix makes it easy to submit and review time, request and give evaluations, and enter previous experience credit. The automated email notifications and dashboard tasks help keep all stakeholders on track. 

8. Graduate your apprentice and issue a completion certificate

Once all skills and requirements laid out in the apprentice job description have been met, all hours tracked, all evaluations reviewed, apprentice training is finally complete. You’ll now graduate your apprentice and issue a completion certificate. (Fun fact: in Apprentix, an apprentice’s completion certificate is an NFT!)

9. If your apprentice training was really successful you’ll hire the apprentice full-time

If successfully executed, your apprentice ought to be fully trained to meet business needs. This person is ready to be hired into the next position and grow with your company.

Our Top Apprentice Training Tip

Since there are several stakeholders involved in apprentice training, HR people tend to carry out the burden of designing, implementing, and managing the program. We’ve developed this go-to apprentice training guide from our own experience managing apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships may seem daunting at first and without the right tools can be tiresome to manage. 

We’ve been there, and we cannot say it enough. Use apprenticeship software. Apprentix will save you valuable time, resources, and energy when you need to do the tactical steps during apprentice training. Best part is that this apprentice training guide is pre-built into Apprentix!

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