Local authority toolkit

young apprentice with service user in wheelchair

We're here to help you hire apprentices

Our toolkit is designed to help local authorities (LAs) through the recruitment and development of apprentices in social care.  

We worked with Oxfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Surrey County Council to develop it, who each have had success with Apprenticeships. 

If you’re thinking about taking on apprentices this toolkit will guide you on:

  1. hiring an apprentice
  2. the recruitment process
  3. learning and development
  4. budget and funding




An Apprenticeship shows that you are willing to progress your staff as an employer.

It also sends the message to job candidates that there are training and career development opportunities within a company and increases levels of retention. It also includes the Higher Apprenticeship for those in a managerial or business development role.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a combination of on and off the job learning and development. As employees, apprentices work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills, getting paid whilst working towards a number of qualifications and gaining experience. 

The learning and development enables apprentices to gain relevant care skills that can include anything from supporting people to get dressed to transporting them to and from a care setting.

Apprentices might work directly with people who use services as a care worker or team leader. Alternatively they may work in a non-direct social care role such as catering or administration.

Skills for Care, in partnership with the Department of Health, actively promotes social care Apprenticeship programmes. 


What are the benefits of hiring an apprentice?

The benefits of Apprenticeships to the local authority:

  • They bring young people into the sector
  • It is an opportunity to ‘grow our own’ health and social care work force for the future
  • Employers have the assurance of quality of training and support within the Apprenticeship scheme
  • Providers working together across the social care sector to improve the image of social care as a career
  • Bringing young people with fresh viewpoints and valuable ideas into our service areas
  • Retaining young people in the social care workforce as they can move across service user groups and develop careers  
  • Some apprentices are trained to act as care ambassadors promoting health and social care as a career in schools and colleges on completion of their Apprenticeship.
  • It provides development opportunities for existing staff as some ex apprentices are now supervising apprentices in the workplace.


The benefits of Apprenticeships to young people:

  • It provides a supported transition between education and employment
  • It ensures apprentices receive appropriate support and learn at their own pace.
  • It provides high quality training by our own training provider.
  • It develops social care workers who will be confident working in a variety of settings and will be aware of career pathways.
  • It recruits young people from a wide range of backgrounds including care leavers, young carers, young parents and those not in education, employment or training (NEETS).


What pathways are available?

Each local authority can be different in which pathways they wish to offer. 

Supported career pathways can be anything from Work Experience to a Graduate Scheme and everything in-between. 

Hertfordshire County Council has created an easily digested document which explains who they support in employment, the career pathways available and the benefits they have to the organisation. This can be found here.


Before you start implementing a new Apprenticeship programme, it is very important to plan a solid recruitment process first.

Below are some of the examples of different recruitment processes followed by our local authorities who have made a success of hiring and securing apprentices.

It also includes an inclusive model for recruiting young people from a wide range of backgrounds including:

  • Care leavers,
  • young carers,
  • young parents, and
  • Those not in education, employment or training (NEETS).

We have put together the following guides to help you through the recruitment process:





An important part of rectruiting apprentices is their learning and development. Something we have been asked for guidance and help with from many employers.

We also have developed information to help with Mentoring

Surrey County Council has created a Manager Guide for learning and development in addition to all of this information.   

One of the main things to factor in when thinking of starting an Apprenticeship programme is the budget, funding and support you will need. 

Below our local authorities have put together their experiences of:

  • Where they applied for funding,
  • mentoring programmes,
  • budgeted for recruitment, and
  • working with the support of line managers and assessors.

We appreciate that all local authorities have different hurdles when it comes to budget and funding therefore the guides below are excellent for showing the different methods you can try.



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