• General

    • Who is Apprenticemakers for?

      The Apprenticemaker community is for existing or budding apprentice employers.

      If you run or work in small and medium businesses and are interested in Apprenticeships then Apprenticemakers is for you.

      It is a entirely FREE peer to peer experience sharing community, led by businesses, for businesses.

      Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to connect with other businesses that have taken on apprentices, or those that would like to.

      If you’ve already taken on one or more apprentice, join to share your experience and top tips with those just starting out of the process.

      If you’re thinking of taking on an apprentice, or currently employ someone that could benefit from being trained on an Apprenticeship programme, join to gain from the knowledge and experience of other businesses, and get answers from your business peers.

    • How much does Apprenticemakers cost to join?

      Apprenticemakers is completely free to join.

    • Who is behind Apprenticemakers?

      Apprenticemakers is run by SFEDI (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative) with support from the National Apprenticeship Service with the objective of supporting businesses and encouraging more Apprenticeships across the country.

      For more information about Apprenticemakers contact Sophie Hardwick on 0845 4671628 or email [email protected]

    • How can businesses connect in Apprenticemakers?

      Once you join Apprenticemakers you can ask and answer questions in the forum and directly connect with those that might have knowledge and experience that would be useful.

      Apprenticemakers have signed up to answer questions from others and share their experiences.

    • I'm thinking of taking on an apprentice, why should I join?

      If you’re considering taking on an apprentice for the first time, or have already initiated one, you probably already have lots of questions about how to navigate the process and how it will impact on your business.

      Research shows that small businesses prefer to receive advice and support from other experienced business people and therefore Apprenticemakers provides an opportunity for you to connect with businesses that have been through the process to ask how it’s worked for them.

      You can ask questions in the forum which will go to the wider community, or connect with a business that you have something in common with, whether it’s size, location or sector, and ask how it’s worked for them.

      Remember that everyone that’s signed up to Apprenticemakers is there to either learn or share their knowledge so by contacting someone you’re giving them the opportunity to get involved in supporting the business community and sharing their experience of Apprenticeships.

    • I am an apprentice employer, why should I join?

      As an employer who has hired apprentices, you’ll will have seen first-hand how they can be a real asset to your businesses.
      Despite all of the benefits for businesses, small businesses still aren’t taking on apprentices in the same way that larger businesses are.

      As an employer you can join Apprenticemakers to champion Apprenticeships and share the knowledge you’ve gain in the process with those just starting out.

      Your experience of the benefits as well as the challenges of recruiting apprentices will help to give a fellow business the confidence to progress their Apprenticeships and understand how challenges can be overcome.

      This form of mentoring support can be vital in ensuring small businesses follow in your footsteps and embrace Apprenticeships, both for the benefit of their business, but to also ensure skills are retained in their sector.

    • I'm a Training Organisation, how can I get involved?

      The Apprenticemakers community is designed to help those people leading Apprenticeship programmes in their small and medium sized businesses to connect and share their knowledge and experience.

      Training Organisations have a wealth of knowledge to share in this area and we’d love to be able to capture that for the Apprenticemakers community. Training organisations can therefore get involved in the following ways:

      • Providing blogs and articles that will support the knowledge of small businesses recruiting apprentices
      • Letting us know about events, offers and case studies from your organisation. With the case studies we like to adapt them for the house style and they are from the perspective of the small business, but the Training Organisation involved always gets a mention.
      • Spreading the word about Apprenticemakers and encouraging those businesses that they work with to get involved.

      As Apprenticemakers is a peer to peer community founded on the idea of businesses offering each other support based on their own experience, we prevent any direct promotion and selling of services within the community.

      However, we’re of course happy to spread the word about events, happenings and blogs that are of benefit to small businesses, and are of course happy to credit the Training Organisation involed.

    • What are the benefits of Apprenticeships?

      96% of businesses say that they bring benefits to their business.

      The benefits they report include increased productivity, increased loyalty from clients, new ideas, increased staff morale, and the opportunity to retain essential skills in the business. Along with this Apprenticeships can be an affordable way to grow a business and will enable the business to home grow its talent whilst also benefiting from training programmes that are designed specifically for the needs of the role and the sector.

      The benefits are also great for the apprentices themselves who gain a job opportunity with which has the potential to develop their a future skilled career. The apprentices get to earn whilst they learn and increase the potential for a job at the end of their training.

      As well as this, the benefits to the wider economy are immense, Apprenticeships ensure a future skilled workforce which is ready for the increasingly competitive global economy.

    • What happens when I register for Apprenticemakers?

      When you register for Apprenticemakers you will be able to add your profile in the community, connect with other members, see all of the Apprenticemakers on the interactive map, and ask and answer questions in the online forums.

      You’ll also receive the free Apprenticemakers Toolkit in the post.

      As an apprentice employer you’ll be joining to demonstrate your support for Apprenticeships, so we’ll also invite you to add the Apprenticemaker badge to some of your communications to promote that fact that you’re an Apprenticemaker, and encourage others to become Apprenticemakers too!

    • What is the main activity in Apprenticemakers?

      Apprenticemakers is an online directory of existing and potential apprentice employers that can find out about each other’s areas of knowledge and connect to ask questions.

      Apprenticemakers promotes the benefits of recruiting apprentices for small businesses and helps employers connect and share their experiences and knowledge of Apprenticeships.

      As the site develops we aim for it to lead to mentoring type relationships between businesses of all sizes to offer ideas and suggestions throughout the Apprenticeships process.


    • What is the Apprenticemaker+ training?

      The Apprenticemakers+ training provided some very light mentor training and gives an overview of mentoring skills, as well as questioning, listening and preparing for the mentoring role.

      It’s designed for Apprenticemakers that have taken on apprentices and are willing to share their knowledge and experience of recruiting and employing apprentices with other businesses.

      You can run through the course online or read through the same course in the Apprenticemakers+ pocketbook, which you’ll receive for free when you join Apprenticemakers.

    • I want to recruit an apprentice for the first time, where should I start?

      Great that you’re interested in recruiting an apprentice.

      In the first instance you should call the National Apprenticeship Service’s Small Business Team (08000 150 600) and ask if they can suggest training organisations in your area and/or the role you’re interested in recruiting in. The Small Business Team should be able to tell you about the latest funding available too.

      To get a better idea about how to navigate the apprenticeship process take a look at the Small Business Guide. It contains a handy one page illustrated guide and 5 stories from small businesses about their experiences of taking on an apprentice. 

      In addition to that, of course, join the Apprenticemakers community for free to connect with other employers of interest. People have joined to support apprenticeships for small business, so do not hesitate in connecting with others to ask if they would be happy to share experience, knowledge and contacts that could help you on your journey. You can also ask questions in the groups and forums to get ideas from a wider set of employers.

      Take a look at the case studies and films on this site to gain inspiration and ideas along the way, and remember to let us know how its going as we’re always interested in understanding the challenges facing small businesses and in celebrating small business apprenticeship success.