Apprenticeships and training

Article reviewed: 2013/01/08 | Next review due: 2014/07/27

Apprenticeships are a good way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience. As an employee, you can earn as you learn and you gain practical skills from the workplace. The apprentice agrees to learn with this trainer, with the trainer taking responsibility for the employees learning. This may be a written agreement and is often presented in the form of a contract. If the apprentice is a minor, a parent or guardian must complete the contract in his place (once the apprentice turns 18, however, they can rescind the contract if they wish).

Key points in training contracts:

The contract may be signed between the employer and an individual person in an organisation. If the individual leaves the organization, it will be considered a breach of contract, but you can often transfer the contract easily to another organisation.

If there are changes in the company and the employer can no longer train their apprentice, it would also result in a breach of contract.

It is more difficult to fire an apprentice - failure to do tasks or failure in training is normally sufficient grounds for dismissal, however insubordination or drinking at workplace parties are not sufficient reasons for dismissal.

Apprenticeship contracts bind the employer to provide vocational training to the trainee. In case of breach of contract, the employer will owe damages to his apprentice.

Some employers try to reduce training costs by charging certain costs to the employee, however this must be detailed on the training contract. The amount must be reasonable and scaled with regards to the timescales and the ultimate benefit to the employer.

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