In order to ensure that an apprenticeship is a win-win scenario for both the employer and the
Apprentice, ALP is advising employers to ensure they are aware of their legal responsibilities under
this type of arrangement:

Richard Simpkins, lawphone controller at ALP says:

“It is really important that employers are fully aware of the special employment protection which is in
place for apprentices, so that they that understand their commitments and responsibilities before
they take a candidate on.”

Richard advises businesses to be aware that there are some key areas which differ from normal
employment law:

1) The principal purpose of an apprenticeship is the training of the apprentice. Therefore, the
undertaking of work for the employer is secondary.

2) The employer agrees to take on the apprentice for the entire duration of the apprenticeship
and must provide training enabling him or her to acquire valuable skills and status in the
labour market.

3) Employers need to be aware that it is not generally possible to terminate an apprenticeship
prior to its conclusion, which means that apprentices cannot be made redundant unless the
entire workplace closes.

4) In addition, misconduct which would justify the dismissal of an ordinary employee will not
justify the dismissal of an apprentice; even in some cases of disobedience, persistent
absence and intoxication.

5) In the event that an apprentice is wrongfully dismissed, compensation can be substantial.
This is because compensation can be claimed under three heads: loss of wages for the
remainder of the apprenticeship term, compensation for the loss of the skills the training
would have provided and compensation for the resulting loss of status and opportunities in
the job market.

Richard adds: “Providing employers are aware of these guidelines, an apprenticeship programme
should make for a very successful experience for both the business and the apprentice. By
dedicating time and resource, employers can use apprenticeship schemes to grow and develop the
skilled workforce they need for the future.”