Retaining your apprentices

Hi All,

Wondered if anyone has any good advice on how to keep hold of an apprentice?  My one has just finished his training and has promptly handed his notice in! I Have had a good year out of him but its not really good enough considering the time and effort and money invested. I am all in favour of the scheme as it has helped my business but just seems a bit hard on employers when you put so much in and they can just walk away so easily. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.



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  • PRO

    I'd be thankful that you had a good one - we've had a couple and neither worked out. One was truly bad.

    What were you offering them as a post to stay especially package wise. Did they offer any info as to why they left?

    • Well its just a small business but I had told him I wanted him to become a team leader/supervisor and that I wanted him to do the level 3 hort apprenticeship as well. Didn't talk precise figures on pay but told him it would go up significantly from what he was on currently. 

      He said he was very happy with the job but had decided to go back to his home country (Italy) and take a degree in horticulture and set up his own organic farm out there. All admirable but not going to help me much!

      • PRO
        Good luck to him in my opinion.yes it's hard for you but that's the trade off. The very good one are going to disappear off and do there own thing.
        I suppose you can take all the time you had from him. And that you have helped him move on
  • PRO

    If you also sponsored his training costs, it would have been possible for a claw back of fees had it been in his Contract of Employment..

    Although that would not have resolved him leaving or paid back all your time and effort, at least you could have balanced off the cost of his training.

    Like business, it would be all in the T&Cs of his Contract.

    • PRO
      It also depends how much he was paying him to be his apprentice doesn't it? If he was only being paid minimum apprentice wage then even if you have paid for his college or part of it you have still had cheap labour I would think
      • PRO

        When we've had young Apprentices, we have never paid apprentice level pay. They've always had a least NMW for their age, otherwise you give them little reason to be motivated.

        The issue I raised was not related to their wage, but to the cost an employer has had to pay for his training (accepting if it was totally Government funded training, it could be £0).

        This can be recovered by an Employer if a pay/claw condition existed and was signed off in the employees CoE.

        • PRO
          I realise that was not your point gary it's me Reading between the lines. I imagine that the wage was not that high.
          Wage "would go up significantly".
          I think it's commendable to take these youngsters on but it's no good complaining at the end if they leave in my opinion.
          They came to learn, they learnt they left. I did something similar (though did stay longer) but I left when it was right for me.
          Put clauses in if you want but do you really want someone to stay when they want to leave?
          • PRO
            Yes fully agree with you Richard.
  • PRO

    Your comment he was going back home (Italy), to take a hort degree and open an organic farm indicates to me this lad would always have left at some point. I sympathise with you for losing a decent team member, but you have to wish the guy well, he sounds like a good 'un.  Let's face it, we've all worked for someone else and yet we're all doing our own thing now.

  • one firm I worked for always got rid of the apprentices at the end of there time and started new ones

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