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To wonder why these 'apprenticeships' are allowed?

(103 Posts)
Remotecontrolduck Wed 02-Oct-13 10:10:13

'Apprentice sales assistant'
'Apprentice receptionist'

Both on £2.68ish an hour, full time. Just two examples of jobs I've seen this morning. Doing duties that any other sales assistant or receptionist does by the sound of it, but for less money.

I've very supportive of the concept of apprenticeships, and yes it does cost money to train someone so this can be reflected in wages, but surely this is only neccessary for actual trades, such as plumbing etc. Why on earth does anyone need an apprenticeship in being a receptionist?

It's just a way for companies to get around paying less than minimum wage isn't it. There was so many jobs like this too.

Why is this allowed?

ConfusedPixie Wed 02-Oct-13 10:12:19

It should involve an NVQ or other qualification I think, which I think is how they pay so little?

Mogz Wed 02-Oct-13 11:40:18

They're allowed because they lead to qualifications, for a kid just finishing GCSE's it's a good step on the career ladder. Most apprenticeships will have pay that increases as you complete parts of the courses set and will lead to full time employment. They are a good investment in the future of a child that might otherwise drop out of school with no job, or struggle on through A-levels and gain very little.

quoteunquote Wed 02-Oct-13 12:09:04

We are so self-defeating allowing this total nonsense to occur,

If we want a society that works, we cannot continue to have people employed under these fallacies.

It means that a real job has been stolen from the work place,

I run a construction company, we pay everyone at least a living wage(even the apprentices), minimum wage is not acceptable and does real damage to society, and is extremely stupid business practice, it's really rude to pay a person minimum wage, it's totally reprehensible to pay less.

I have the most amazing team, and very rarely have anyone leave, which saves me a fortune in retaining and rehiring.

Anyone who pays these scummy sorry excuses of wages should not be allowed to trade, as they totally undermine our communities and future.

Boycott the vile slave traders, and tell them why,

one of our local building suppliers tried this on a few years ago, one week boycott from several firms, made them change their minds, and sign a pledge not to abuse their employer position again.

Don't let these grubby little shits ruin our futures, name and shame, and let them know what you think.

Sorry, you just set me off on a rant, I rarely hate anything, but I do hate those who still think this is acceptable, they know it's not and do it anyway and get away with it.

If we want society to break down and end up with the same situation as Germany was in pre world war two, this behaviour will get us there really fast, people are angry, they can't live, they can't maintain relationships, live life as they want, feed their children, yet they work hard.

A fair days pay for a fair day work, is just basic common sense.

SJaneS Wed 02-Oct-13 12:43:19

They unfortunately have a useful place in this economy I'm afraid! I'm a Recruitment Consultant and when I'm looking for graduate entrants and sifting through the literally 100's of CVs I get for marketing roles, the candidates who've got actual hands on experience, usually through internships have a distinct advantage. I know this stinks as quite often they are the middle/upper class kids whose parents financially support them while they do these roles on no/low wage roles. That isn't always the case though, there are those that do an internship alongside the night shift at McDonalds. Actual experience in the current market is so crucial. My eldest who is 19 and left college with one A Level is finding it incredibly tough to get anything other than shop work or Telesales. The old entrant positions that used to be plentiful, aren't. I've just tried to talk her into going for an Trainee Admin role on a 12 month contract on £5K with the local council. It is appalling money but would give her a real leg up in terms of experience and skills. So, it's all horribly exploitative yes but at the moment, needs must for our young people.

quoteunquote Wed 02-Oct-13 13:01:57

Nonsense , who would do that job for the council if it wasn't a trainee job, the job needs to be done, so pay for it. Utterly disgraceful.

If the council need a job doing then they need to pay proper adult wages for it.

We are creating a serious problem in society, which will cost us all.

SJaneS Wed 02-Oct-13 13:29:04

I'm not disagreeing that it's exploitative 'quote..' . The point I was making was that in the current market place of very high youth unemployment, the brutal reality is that young adults need every advantage they can get. Some real hands on experience is key to making a CV stand out from the hundred of others. For every graduate entry role I handle, I receive literally hundreds of CVs. So yes, 'travel cost' only internships or very badly paid apprenticeships are exactly as you say creating a serious problem. That doesn't mean that a young adult with only paper qualifications to recommend them shouldn't take them, the situation being as it is.

quoteunquote Wed 02-Oct-13 13:34:37

It just creates a knock on for the next intake of adults on to the work place, it needs to be stopped now.

higgle Wed 02-Oct-13 13:39:49

A friend of mine has a son who started on an apprenticeship at a really low rate of pay, he was getting about £100 for a full time week. After a year they have upped his pay to £250pw and he is gaining real experience and a qualification. On the whole I think the opportunity to get a foot in the door is beneficial and those who work hard and make a real impression can get a really good job at the end of it.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 02-Oct-13 13:45:40

<starts a Mexican wave in favour of quoteunquote>

Well done you smile

needaholidaynow Wed 02-Oct-13 13:52:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

insancerre Wed 02-Oct-13 14:02:37

I have noticed that most of the jobs advertised seem to be for apprenticeships.
I think it is a really bad idea, and very exploitative.
They should at least be paid the same minimum wage rate as other peeopl of their age.
Apprenticeships don't always lead to a job.
DS did one when he left school, in bricklaying. Unfortunately for him, the recession hit as he was finishing it. He got laid off as there is no obligation for employers to keep an apprentice on once they have finished the apprenticeship. They just take on fresh apprentices.
He has a qualification but hardly any experience, so he has been unable to get a job in his trade that he is trained for. Most bricklaying jobs are short term contracts anyway.
He has done loads of temp jobs, labouring, kitchen work, factory work. But each time he finishes he has to sign back on and wait longer and longer now for any money.He can't afford to move out at 24 as he can't claim any housing benefit and he has no regular income.
He had to sell his car as he couldn't afford the insurance and upkeep.
He is about to finish a 3 month contract this week and the future looks pretty grim, as all the jobs advertised are for apprentices on £2 an hour.
They should be tightened up. You really don't need an apprenticeship to learn how to work in a shop or wash cars.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 02-Oct-13 14:07:29

If these apprentices are getting real training that leads to a qualification, as well as time off for college, then I don't see the problem.

It's not a real job, it's a training placement. Even where the apprentices are doing the same work as paid employees, they will need to be trained and supervised, which doesn't come for free.

pixiepotter Wed 02-Oct-13 14:10:28

It is slave labour that benefits only the companies and their shareholders. I am guessing the shareholders of this company vote tory and financially support the party.

SJaneS Wed 02-Oct-13 14:11:31

'quoteun..', it's not going to be stopped now, it exists. And if our young people do boycott these schemes then there are plenty of very highly educated young Spanish, Greek etc people with great English entering our country at the moment who will take them. And who exactly will that benefit in the long term? These apprenticeships might not result in a permanent role at the end of the day but help enormously in terms of real placeable experience.

freddiefrog Wed 02-Oct-13 14:15:51

As long as they're are getting proper training and a qualification, I think they're quite a good idea for those who don't do very well in more formal schooling

The young person I look after is doing one.

At the end of it she will have got 2 GCSEs, a Diploma, hands on experience in her chosen career, and has some cash (her pay more than above, but not quite min wage) in her pocket each week.

Considering she didn't go to school for over 2 years and has zero qualifications it's a really good way to get a foot in the door

She could have done the same thing via college and work placements and wouldn't have been paid anything at all

Wallison Wed 02-Oct-13 14:15:55

Why shouldn't the employee get a fair wage while they are getting that 'experience' (which by the way should be properly termed 'work'). I hate this attitude that employees should feel grateful for having a job at all, even a job that pays not enough money to live on. It's all to cock. Using high unemployment as an excuse just does not cut it - if you can't afford to pay a living wage to your worker, you are not a viable business.

Oh, and quoteunquote for pm!

Davsmum Wed 02-Oct-13 14:22:46

I saw an ad today for an Apprentice Administrator. The pay was £3.62 an hour but there was a list of what the applicants were expected to be able to do already that you would only expect from an experienced admin person!

BrokenSunglasses Wed 02-Oct-13 14:24:14

But apprentices aren't the same as employees, they are also students.

I do see the argument that if they are doing a job they should be paid, but they are gaining experience that will hopefully lead on to them being able to attract higher pay than they would have done if they had remained unskilled, unqualified and inexperienced as they were before they started the apprenticeship.

The fact is that there are too many people on this little island for the jobs we have available, so people have got to do what it takes to make themselves stand out.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 02-Oct-13 14:28:03

I'm all in favour of these, although they need to be properly regulated.

Why should a 17 year old, or for that matter a 21 year old, with no actual skills or experience expect to be paid a full wage? If they are getting training and time out for studying and going to come out with a qualification at the end of it then there is a cost attached to that, along with the fact that they will need more supervision than a more experienced member of staff.

People I know who have done these have all moved on to better paid full-time roles off the back of the training and experience they have had.

SJaneS Wed 02-Oct-13 14:30:02

So, if your 21 year old who really wanted to get into a particular field of employment but had been turned down application after application because there were more experienced candidates out there was offered a 3-6 month internship in what they wanted to do on an expenses only contract, would you insist they turn it down? Even though it could make a real difference in terms of their next job application? Just asking!

fuzzpig Wed 02-Oct-13 14:33:14

I was really, really lucky with my apprenticeship. I'd been a SAHM for years and when DH was unable to work (injury) I really struggled finding a job and was applying for apprenticeships that I didn't really want to do (eg catering 35hpw for £100pw)

And then I stumbled upon one with the county council. They paid a little over the proper NMW so not amazing but for an apprenticeship wage it was bloody brilliant. The council have had over 3000 apprentices all paid a proper wage AFAIK.

I got a full time permanent contract out of it too for which I had to apply like everyone else (ie not just given it) and I aced the interview apparently. I was lucky because at the start (around 9m earlier) I had barely any experience, zero confidence etc and wouldn't have passed an interview for the 'proper' equivalent role, but I was good enough for an apprenticeship as they had lower expectations basically. So it was the perfect way in to work for me. It is a library assistant role BTW. Anyway, apprenticeships can work brilliantly so I do often sing their praises.

But if it had only paid £2.50 an hour... gosh I don't know. I guess we would've got more HB/CTC etc to make it up but it would probably have been rather demoralising.

When I was doing my college stuff as part of the apprenticeship, I met loads of apprentices who were employed by the college itself (on the abysmal wages) and they were unhappy, unmotivated etc and TBH it showed in their work. The college in general is pretty crap though for stuff like admin so I guess their low standards filtered down <not bitter at all, no...>

SparkleToffee Wed 02-Oct-13 14:35:30

I think in some instances it can work v well, but I think it is also open to explotation as well and needs tighter controls. I think in areas like manufacturing , engineering, it is a great way for young people to have on the job experience provided, get some money towards travel expenses and at the end of it have the opportunity to be given a fully paid job at the correct wages.

However I know of some nurseries / childminders that do this with youngsters, and then at the end of the "apprentiship" have no job to offer, so give rid of them and get another apprentice, to essentially do a very hard tiring job for very little reimbursement.

I know someone who this happened to and actually after they were "let go" took them on in my company and paid them a living wage. I was also told by some to take them on as an "apprentice" but I honestly could never pay some one so little......I think its terrible that it can be abused as such and although has its place, needs tighter controls

ls4g08 Wed 02-Oct-13 16:39:54

I believe in the case of an apprentice over the age of 18 the employer will likely be funding half, if not all, the apprentices college training costs and also their day in college- which must add around another grand on to the persons salary...

ChinaCupsandSaucers Wed 02-Oct-13 16:55:00

I'm looking into taking on a Customer Services apprentice at the moment. 16/17 year old, basic maths and numeracy skills. No work experience.

They won't go to college on day release. My business is their learning environment. My practice, procedures and documentation will be assessed in order to ensure it will meet the standards required by the Learning Provider. My supervision, management and coaching will be assessed by their tutor. Over the course of 12 months, my business will provide them with a broad range of experience, in which they will gain sufficient knowledge for them to secure a Level 2 qualification. That, inevitably, carries risk to the business.

I could take someone on at minimum wage, and insist that they have the skills and experience I need already, or I can take on an apprentice, which involves me investing more of my own time, and taking a bigger risk, which is recognised by paying them less. In my experience, an apprentice is more committed and invested in their workplace than a fully-trained worker who is often only there for the money.

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