As equestrian businesses begin to return to some levels of normality and competitions start to return, staffing levels come back to mind. The nation’s love of animals and the pull of working with horses often brings a significant number of young workers into the sector. Taking on a new employee comes at a cost and will impact on cash flow and profitability.
The apprenticeship route remains a popular method for businesses to find the young, enthusiastic workers they need to take on tasks through all weathers and often unsociable hours. Taking on an apprentice can also provide a cash incentive.
Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. They can take one to five years to complete depending on the level of qualification required. Often in an equestrian business where the work is relatively unskilled, a new apprentice every year works. An apprentice must be 16 or over and not be in full-time education.
Apprentices, like other employees must be paid national minimum wage which will vary depending on their age. As part of the apprenticeship you will need to ensure that off-the-job training is available for at least 20% of the contracted time. The Government will contribute up to 95% of the training costs with the employer picking up the remaining 5%.
There are incentive payments for taking on a new employee under the apprenticeship scheme. From August this year the amount is £2,000 for new employees between 16 and 24 and £1,500 for those aged 25 and over.
Further details on the scheme can be found here. If you would like to discuss if taking on an apprentice will work for your business, please contact Lucie Hammond at email@example.com or 01242 680000.