To think this isn't what apprenticeships were designed for?

(46 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Sun 08-Dec-13 19:40:34

Just seen a job advertised for an apprentice waiter/waitress at Pizza Hut. 30 hours a week for £110. They can get round national minimum wage as its an apprenticeship.

I just think its a disgrace. Does it really take a minimum of a years apprenticeship to learn how to take orders and carry pizza? Its hardly training to be a plumber, etc. They do get to do an nvq in customer services but still.

I feel so sorry for young people today trying to find work, its depressing.

Ifcatshadthumbs Sun 08-Dec-13 19:44:20

I totally agree. To me an apprenticeship is learning a skilled trade like an electrician, plumber, car mechanic etc. Waitressing does not require an nvq just another way for large companies to take advantage

VivaLeBeaver Sun 08-Dec-13 19:47:29

Exactly. Its like that stupid Workfare scheme

TheCrackFox Sun 08-Dec-13 19:51:17

Completely agree.

And our taxes are being used to make a massive multi-national corporation's bottom line even better. It stinks.

CocoCha Sun 08-Dec-13 19:52:50

It's a con, plain and simple. Apprenticeships are there to ensure a trade or skill is learnt. Waiting is unskilled unless you work in a Michelin Starred restaurant.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 08-Dec-13 19:54:35

What? Does Pizza Hut itself not even pay the £110 a week? That's crazy.

Its the sort of job that in the past 2 or 3 sixth formers or students would have done between them to earn some extra cash. Those sort of jobs seem to be hard to come by now. All the Xmas jobs at tk maxx have been taken by Workfare so no paid jobs there.

FadBook Sun 08-Dec-13 19:59:31

I'm not sure if it is a con as such but I agree it isn't really a 'trade'. To me, PH are trying to attract young people to apply, here's why:

The national minimum wage for apprenticeships is £2.68 (any age) per hour. For £110 a week doing 30 hours that £3.67 so a £1 more than minimum. Actual NMW (non apprentiship) for 16-17 year olds is £3.72, so 0.05p more than what Pizza Hut are offering.

It isn't right no, but it is legal if the person is going to college and achieving an NVQ. For any apprenticeship, the person has to work very closely with college and the college works with the employer too.

solveproblem Sun 08-Dec-13 20:00:55

We had an apprentice at work, through a college, to do 'warehousing'. Apparently he got some sort of qualification from his college in warehousing after doing this,

He was basically picking and packing all day long 40 hours a week, nothing to do with stock keeping or anything remotely complicated. I found it very odd the college would offer a qualification after this, all it was really was our company getting cheap labour.

Heartbrokenmum73 Sun 08-Dec-13 20:08:53

I'm seeing a lot more jobs advertised as Apprenticeships lately. It seems to be a great way of getting cheap labour these days.

I have a 'work experience' interview at the Job centre tomorrow. I'm 40 and have plenty of experience already, but they've already been pushing me at 'farmyard work' and 'charity shop' stuff. All for £70 a week JSA and for up to 12 weeks. I can't understand how it's legal for any company to do this.

Luckily, they haven't been able to insist I take any of these 'placements' yet because I'm a single Mum and have set hours that I'm available for work. I wouldn't mind but a) I've only bee signing on for three months and b) I'm applying for jobs all over the place!

Ifcatshadthumbs Sun 08-Dec-13 20:10:39

In truth there is very little liaison between the college and the employer

FadBook Sun 08-Dec-13 20:22:27

Hope not ifcats we've just taken on an Apprentice in one of head office departments (not saying where as night out me) So far, during the recruitment process we've seen a shit side and a good side; ended up changing the college we worked with - poor applicants in general, but have found a brilliant lad. He needs office experience in said dept and we need a person to carry out mundane (but important) work.

wetaugust Sun 08-Dec-13 20:24:31


It's digusting.

I know where I shall not be eating.

Parsnipcake Sun 08-Dec-13 20:26:57

As a parent I see it differently. I foster and my teens lack a lot of skills - taking responsibility, getting up, organising themselves etc. as an apprentice, they have to practice these skills, but get more leeway than a standard employee. My teen apprentices tend to appreciate their college courses more than before they were working, as a crappy job is a definite incentive to get qualifications. My brighter, better organised teens have got 'proper' jobs, with proper pay, but lots of teens need the stepping stone.

Whoknowswhocares Sun 08-Dec-13 20:28:30

Apprenticeships these days are designed for one thing and one thing reduce the number of young people claiming job seekers allowance

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 20:31:35

Thats what nearly all companies use apprentices for in all sectors waitressing, shop work, nurseries etc then boot them out at the end no matter how good they are. They are cheap so companies make lots of money from them, and they are young so will do anything to impress. It is a shame but its the way its always been especially now you can make someone do anything for 110 quid as they are desperate.

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 20:34:08

Although 110 for 30 hours is pretty good as a lot do 40 hours for £107

Parsnipcake Sun 08-Dec-13 20:53:51

I don't see the problem with getting them to be cheap labour rather than just signing on. It's got to be better that they are getting some work experience rather than sitting at home watching Jeremy Kyle or twittering. As I said before, more competent teens bypass the apprenticeship system. My 18 year old earns £8 an hour plus tips ( £25 a shift) at her job.

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 20:55:13

Not here they wouldnt. It depends on the area you wouldnt get £8 here unless you were management ir in the job a very long time.

mrsjay Sun 08-Dec-13 20:59:59

MY dds friend left school recently to do an apprenticship she has no placement yet but the options are a shop or a care home, yes she will get her nvqs but those are not apprentiships(sp) are they, my dh took 4 years to train to be a plumber that was an apprentiship(sp), these things are likt eh old YTS that i did when i left school

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 21:05:54

I think it does depend on how affluent your area is. Here median hourly wage is £9 but that is skewed by all the doctors etc. I have worked in workplaces where they have fired qualified staff and replaced them with trainees purely because its cheap. Bosses havent even hidden that fact from me cheaper the better and just get them to do everything a qualified person would.

Chocamochalatte Sun 08-Dec-13 21:08:31

I use apprentices in my department and see them as an assett to the team, I have found they are generally young people who have found school difficult and/or not had a stable home life, lacked support etc. I spend a lot of time mentoring, building their confidence and encouraging them to build a great work ethic. However, I also know of other managers in my workplace who see them as a hinderance and have pushed them to another department or refuse to see their value in the first place.

I am pretty sure that apprentices can not work more than 30 hours due to time needed to be spent at college.

In my experience employers have as little or as much contact with the college as they would like, for me it depends on the individual, how they are developing and how much support they need.

I also think people have got to stop seeing them as cheap labour and rather consider it as paid learning, ie if you went to college full time you would not be paid anything, however this way the young person not only gets college support but also hands on learning. Invaluable if you ask me.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sun 08-Dec-13 21:09:49

Spot on.

My brother got offered an apprenticeship in the local Nissa. hmm I'm sure as a full time job this is great for some people, but they wanted him to work 12 hour shifts - same as regular staff - for a pittance and exactly what training would it give him confused

I'm all for apprenticeships, I was an apprenticeship care assistant and it got me on the job ladder - although I don't see why there's an apprenticeship to be a carer because anyone (without a criminal record) can become one.

annieorangutan Sun 08-Dec-13 21:13:38

choc - They dont have to go to college the assessors come to them so they do a full 40 here. Its 2.68 an hour.

MammaTJ Sun 08-Dec-13 21:16:14

Seems to be very much the the YTS (Youth Training Scheme, for those not old enough to remember) that I had to undergo to keep the unemployment figures down under Maggie era.

I was lucky, in that it did lead to a full time job and ultimately a career.

Some were not so lucky. They were variable. There were employers who would just use it as a free pair of hands and there were those who used the chance to train the younster, so by the time they were at the end, they were very employable and useful to the company who had bothered.

I guess this not so new scheme will have the same.

TalkingToTheWoodlice Sun 08-Dec-13 21:18:05

I'm finding it very difficult to find entry level jobs that aren't apprenticeships. I have a degree so I'm not entitled to take up an apprenticeship (well I could but I'd have to pay for the privilege). I've been out of the workforce for some time looking after the dc so I don't have up to date experience to apply for graduate positions. I feel caught in a depressing trap.

mrsjay Sun 08-Dec-13 21:19:29

I did get a job out of my YTS too so wasn't all bad I trained to be a nursery nurse but I guess this is what these modern aprretichips (spelling again ) I suppose not all young people want to go to further education but it just seems that they are NVqs for everything

furlinedsheepskinjacket Sun 08-Dec-13 21:21:15

agree yts under new name - I was one too mama

Chocamochalatte Sun 08-Dec-13 22:25:41

In our area they all have to attend college one day a week... This is with all of the different learning providers not just one...

ReluctantBeing Sun 08-Dec-13 22:31:40

School will like this. It means they can, on paper, put a child down as continuing in education, when, in fact, that child is working for a pittance.

gordyslovesheep Sun 08-Dec-13 22:36:19

nothing to do with school - a child on an MA has left school

If it is an apprenticeship the person who does it should be gaining nationally recognised qualifications in areas such as customer service - as well as maths and English continuing until at GCSE C level

This may be via block release, day release to college

MA's are not just about trades - business admin, retail etc have apprenticeship programs and qualifications

The apprenticeship system is far from perfect don't get me wrong but it doesn't make this post completely without merit - front of house work in a busy restaurant does take skill btw!

Ragwort Sun 08-Dec-13 22:43:54

front of house work in a busy restaurant does take skill btw! - I totally agree with that comment; how often on Mumsnet do we have threads complaining about lousy service in restaurants and retail?

Customer service is a skill, sadly not everyone has what it takes and maybe these training schemes if run properly would help young people learn and develop into the sort of employees that employers want to take on full time.

soontobeburns Sun 08-Dec-13 23:17:18

I got my nvq level 2 in customer services but it was free and run as an optional course when I was in full time nmw work in a call centre. The course was 2 hours a week (which I got paid for as on the job) and I had a listening to call assessment and portfolio. It also only took 3 months.

Having to do a year on an apprenticeship wage for this is shocking and does scream of cheap labour.

aquashiv Sun 08-Dec-13 23:20:09

Its an absolute disgrace. Just a way to keep the youth of the unemployment figures as we have the one of the highest rates in the Western World. Make my blood boil we are short changing our children and not preparing them for the world of work. Just making them feel more disenfranchised.

annieorangutan Mon 09-Dec-13 07:16:49

Choc - Even with things like nurseries, the bowling alley, shops etc? Thats strange here they are all 40 as a lot of my friends have had to do them and they have been done in lots of my workplaces.

annieorangutan Mon 09-Dec-13 07:25:19

I just went on and they are all 37.5 or 40 hours for £107 a week in every single subject area.

annieorangutan Mon 09-Dec-13 07:25:35

*in my area

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 09-Dec-13 08:05:06

It's a buyers' market. Until the economy swings around so that there are more jobs than people available to do them, low-skill roles are going to stay cheap. Agree that, in this context, 'apprenticeship' is a version of the youth opportunity schemes of the past but the alternative - sitting home doing nothing - is arguably a worse option.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 09-Dec-13 08:32:13

But having one person sat on their bum watching Jeremy Kyle isn't the only alternative is it?

You could have one person actually having a nmw job or more likely a few student types sharing a job. There doesn't seem to be part time work for youngsters anymore. When I was a teenager there were loads of part time jobs to fit round school/college. I did fruit picking, I did cleaning, I did bar work and shop work. I waitressed in the holidays, my brother worked on a farm. All before the age of 18. This sort of stuff gave me a great work ethic, customer service skills, work experience, etc.

There's nothing for teens now. Even the local shop won't employ under 18s as its too much hassle if they're on the till and someone wants to buy beer.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 09-Dec-13 08:44:31

Those jobs still exist Viva. They wont be advertised in the Job Centre or newspapers - I doubt you got any of your summer/PT jobs you mention by filling in an application form? - so some initiative and knocking on doors is required. But they do exist.

Parsnipcake Mon 09-Dec-13 09:36:51

They do exist. I live in Manchester and my teens have had numerous part time jobs, from washing up to delivering leaflets, cafe and bar work, chugging (!)McDonald's , call centre, I don't see why there is an issue with teens starting at entry level on a low wage , the competent ones do progress and the incompetent ones just get a new job when they get sacked!
IMO, shops like Hollister are the worst. They offer zero hour contracts but insist the young person buys new clothes every season, but by calling them 'models' seem to get away with awful employment practices.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 09-Dec-13 09:43:42

"Until the economy swings around so that there are more jobs than people available to do them, low-skill roles are going to stay cheap."

But it's government policy to make sure that never happens.

So unless we get a change in government, then low-skill roles are always going to be cheap.

And now we have a government making them even cheaper by allowing companies to pay less than NMW by offering bogus "apprenticeships" instead of real entry-level jobs.

"front of house work in a busy restaurant does take skill btw!"

Not the kind of skill you need to do an apprenticeship to learn.

That's the kind of job you learn on the job, being paid your full wage and with no need to go to school for completely fucking pointless NVQs.

Ragwort Mon 09-Dec-13 16:06:05

I disagree Join - are you honestly telling me that every single retail store and restaurant you visit you are served in a professional manner? hmm. Why are there so many threads on Mumsnet complaining about customer service? Lots of people just don't seem able to 'learn these skills on the job' - I know, to my cost, having worked for years in retail and hospitality and finding it harder and harder to recruit people with the right attitude to customer service. grin.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 09-Dec-13 19:24:55

"are you honestly telling me that every single retail store and restaurant you visit you are served in a professional manner?"

Um no.

But that doesn't mean that the people who served me needed to serve an apprenticeship to learn how to do it.

"finding it harder and harder to recruit people with the right attitude to customer service"

Apprenticeships are for learning technical skills and crafts by learning from someone who has those skills already.

They are not for learning "the right attitude to customer service".

And let's be honest here, that's basically all customer service comes down to - a decent attitude to other human beings and a bit of nous.

Ragwort Tue 10-Dec-13 08:24:27

And let's be honest here, that's basically all customer service comes down to - a decent attitude to other human beings and a bit of nous.

Join - I would love to agree with you on that point grin but I can assure you that sadly a lot of people just don't have 'a bit of nous'. I made a bad choice of a training course once and was with people who had no idea how to smile, say good morning, offer to take someone's coat, make polite conversation etc etc. They actually had to learn those skills.

I am constantly amazed at the sort of things I think are 'basic common sense' are completely alien to a lot of people. grin.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 10-Dec-13 09:50:46

Sure, plenty of people don't have any cop on.

But teaching them basic cop on doesn't require an apprenticeship, and it cheapens the very idea of an apprenticeship to allow apprenticeships in things like Not Being a Dick and Turning Up to Work on Time.

Some people need to be taught these very basic skills (I know, I've taught some of them smile ) but apprenticeships are for learning advanced technical skills on the job from an expert.

When you finish an apprenticeship you should be a SKILLED worker.

Being able to use a till,or stack shelves, or serve customers might make you marginally more employable by a retail outlet, but it doesn't make you a skilled worker.

OldDaddy Tue 10-Dec-13 10:34:22

Apprenticeships should lead to quantifiable skills - such as plumbing,carpentry, IT etc etc. With all due respect to waiters that job needs training not an apprenticeship...

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