The Onboarding process for an Apprentice

The Onboarding process for an Apprentice

So you’ve just hired an apprentice for the first time and their start date is coming soon. Just as you would with anyone new, ensuring that they feel welcome and part of a team is important.

However, some elements may be a little different with the on boarding process of an apprentice than a full time member. It’s sometime hard to forget that they are in training; so their introduction will be a little different to that of someone with 5 or more years of experience. So if this is the first time you have hired an apprentice, our blog is here to help.

Their First Day

As you would with any new employee, an introduction to the team is an important aspect to the on boarding process for an apprentice. Giving them a tour and a chance to speak with others will help to make them feel less nervous. Plus, they will have a better understanding of the different sectors and areas to your business.

Sign a contract

Every apprentice MUST have an employment contract no matter what position they are taking. Their contracts must state the rate of pay, hours, rules of the business etc. This must also be done before the candidate is signed up to the apprenticeship.

An introduction to the role

For some apprentices this could be their first job, so they may not have a full understanding of what is involved in their role. There are a number of ways that you can introduce what they will be doing day to day. These can include:

  • Going over the job description – discuss the role in more detail and what you are expecting from them
  • Pair them with a buddy – have someone guide and show the tasks they will do on a day-to-day basis. Let the apprentice sit with them to understand how the tasks will be completed; maybe even let them complete tasks if they feel confident.
  • Create a daily schedule – If this is the apprentices’ first job, give them a basic daily schedule to follow. E.g. complete admin duties 9am – 10am / make phone calls 10am – 12pm.

Have a team exercise

It’s not everyone’s favourite (some people even hate them), but team exercises area great way to introduce the team. If you have a large business or different departments, these can be done with whoever the apprentice will work with most. This could be with word games in the office or taking them out for mini golf! It really is up to you. However, you still need to be cautious especially with COVID – so do be careful

Initial Training

So, you’ve introduced your new apprentice and let them settle in on their first day; now it’s time to start the training. If training an apprentice is new to you, there are a number a ways to make the process much easier:

  • Online training – there are plenty of free online training courses that cover all matter of sectors. For example, HubSpot and Google Garage are great for Digital Marketing. If you have your own online training, give them a set number of days to complete their work
  • Plan days for apprenticeship work – The apprentice will be required to complete work during the apprenticeship. Having set days or times will ensure that everything is completed
  • Shadowing – Have them shadow another employee (or their buddy) to see how tasks are completed. Get them to do the said tasks to get comfortable within their position.
  • Work books – depending on the role and type of business, having a work book can help massively. Not everyone likes to just watch videos so having something tangible may help for the information to sink in better

Signing up to the apprenticeship

The apprentice will be signed up to the apprenticeship at least a week or so after their start date. This gives the new member a chance to settle in, understand their role and become familiar with the company; Due to COVID, the signing up process has been done online. During the signup process they will go through the course, what to expect and sign a contract with the training provider. They will also discuss the process with you or the hiring manager.

So the apprentice can complete their course, they will need to be given set time to complete their work; also known as off the job training. Each apprentice is required to document their training via an online portal. This can be anything from coursework to tutor sessions usually equating to 1 full day a week.

What if my team are still working from home?

Don’t worry! The onboarding process can still be done online; Some of the processes can still be completed, it will just need a little tweaking to be viable online. For example:

  • Virtual team meetings – have set times for meeting and daily updates e.g., morning team meeting at 9am / catch up at 1pm and closing meeting at 4:30pm. As you won’t be able to speak with them directly, it will give you and the apprentice times to work towards
  • Go through the contract with them – discuss everything as you would in the office and send them a copy via email for them to sign
  • Training sessions – Depending on their role, let them sit in on calls or meetings (anonymously through the platform) with you or their buddy to understand the day to day running of the business
  • Check up throughout the day – even if it’s just a friendly chat or asking if they need any assistance, it will let the apprentice know that they can come to you for any advice or guidance


The onboarding process for an apprentice does have similarities to that of a full-time member, but with a bit more guidance and training. As long as you can make them feel welcome and secure, introducing the apprentice to the role will be smooth and rewarding.

How 360 Apprenticeships can help

Whether you are looking to an apprentice or start your apprenticeship journey, 360 Apprenticeships can help. We provide a free service from first point of contact to the successful placement of each apprentice. Every apprentice who is successful will only be placed with the best training providers (Graded 1 and/or 2 by Ofsted) so you know that everyone is in safe hands.

You can find out more regarding the apprenticeship scheme on our website. To speak to one of our recruiters directly, you can contact us on:

0161 4644805

or email us at [email protected]. You can also find us on social media:

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