Apprenticeships interviews and assessments
Shortlisting and preparing for interview
Following application, candidates are invited to an initial assessment with the training provider if they meet the criteria. Maths and English ability is tested, level of working and any extra support required. IT may be included in the assessment if part of the apprenticeship.
Application forms and initial interview feedback will be sent to you by the training provider prior to interview. The provider will have checked the candidate’s eligibility for government funding for the training element of the apprenticeship and will talk to you about the levels of training.
- It is advisable to have clear records of shortlisting and interviews to enable you to give structured feedback to unsuccessful candidates.
- Remember that you must apply equal opportunities, so you cannot automatically discount an applicant who is older than you expected.
- Use the selection criteria to shortlist applicants. Ideally shortlisting should be done by more than one person to help avoid possible bias. Some flexibility will be needed as applicants may not be able to achieve all criteria.
- Notify the training provider which candidates will not be invited for interview and offer feedback as to why.
- Arrange interviews with candidates in advance and inform of any tests to be held.
- Prepare questions you will ask all candidates to help make the process equitable and fair. Plan questions pitched at the right level which will allow the candidates to talk about experiences gained whilst at school/college, or doing unpaid work experience.
- Keep the numbers of interviewers on a panel to a minimum as this can be very daunting for a young person.
Holding interviews, selecting and appointing
- It is likely that the majority of candidates will not be practised at interviews. Try to create an informal and supportive environment to encourage the candidates to relax.
- Remember this could be a young person’s first interview and they will be nervous. If they are struggling to answer questions, help them out by using probing questions and encourage them.
- Rather than using conventional interview techniques, it may be better to use a more informal approach by assessing their enthusiasm and motivation rather than academic credentials and existing skills.
- Start interviews with an informal chat to put candidates at ease and encourage them to be more open.
- Inform candidates of the date you expect to have made a decision.
- Once a candidate has been selected, notify them by telephone that they are your preferred candidate, and that you will be taking up their references.
- Inform the training provider and the apprenticeship team of the preferred candidate.
- Notify the training provider of the unsuccessful candidates and offer feedback to them.
The school is responsible for all pre-employment checks. See statutory guidance - Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016).
The school should ask the candidate to bring in their documents and complete start paperwork.
Starting the apprentice
- Apprentices must start their apprenticeship training from the first day of employment. When the pre-employment checks are successfully completed, the school can offer a start date and inform the apprentice of the arrangements.
- The school should agree the start date with the training provider and HR apprenticeship team so the apprenticeship can be planned in. The levy is matched to new starters and digital vouchers used to pay for the training.
- The school will carry out a risk assessment and employee induction.
- A commitment statement is completed by the training provider which outlines the responsibilities of the apprentice, manager and training provider. This is signed by all three parties and a copy kept by HR as part of their contract of employment.
- The school will complete the new starter form to send to the Schools team to confirm pay arrangements.
- The HR Schools team will send out the contract of employment and any other required documents to the new apprentice.
- If the apprenticeship is completed earlier than the planned end date on the commitment statement, the apprentice's contract end date must be honoured.
- The guidance sheet gives support for managers with apprentices - Responsibilities of managers with apprentices.
For further information
Please contact the Apprenticeship Team, Strategic HR, Council House by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01332 640752.