How to take on an apprentice

The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) Chair, Ruth Devine explains what’s new with apprenticeships in the electrical sector, and how businesses can take on an apprentice.

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Debbie Shields | Communications Manager
The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) Chair, Ruth Devine explains what’s new with apprenticeships in the electrical sector, and how businesses can take on an apprentice.

If you’re looking to build your business and take on more work, it’s worth thinking about recruiting an apprentice. Apprenticeship training can be a productive and effective way to grow while ensuring your future workforce is skilled and qualified.

In England, until June 2022 the Installation or Maintenance Electrician was the only apprenticeship available. Now, following demand from employers and training providers, the Domestic Electrician apprenticeship has been launched.

Previously, many businesses working in domestic environments couldn’t access apprenticeships because of their scope of work. With the introduction of the Domestic Electrician apprenticeship alongside the updated Installation & Maintenance Electrician route, there’s now a more tailored approach for all electrical contractors, whether they’re working in industrial or commercial settings, or are mostly working in domestic properties such as homes, or in individual dwelling units, such as flats, care homes and student accommodation (excluding communal areas).

This distinction between the two apprenticeships is important, as work-based evidence for each apprenticeship needs to be in a relevant setting. So domestic evidence would not be accepted for certain installation and maintenance apprenticeship elements.

As well as the core and traditional electrical skills that apprentices learn on their training programme, both apprenticeships now include training and assessment in electric vehicle charging point installation. They also provide strong foundation knowledge as a basis for further training in other new and low-carbon technologies.

Both apprenticeships have a sharp focus on developing behaviours that matter to employers, such as commercial skills, problem-solving and customer service.

The training programme takes three (Domestic Electrician) or four years (Installation & Maintenance Electrician) to complete. Apprentices train with a college or training provider and crucially learn from their day-to-day work on-site. Either apprenticeship can be ‘accelerated’ with existing relevant qualifications or experience – the provider reviews these at the initial assessment stage. Any apprenticeship must last at least 12 months.

At the end of their training, your apprentice will take what’s called an end-point assessment – known as the achievement measurement (AM2) test. Installation & Maintenance Electrician apprentices take the AM2S, and Domestic Electrician apprentices take the AM2D. Both assessments put into practice what the apprentice has learned during their apprenticeship. Once this has been successfully completed, the apprentice is fully qualified and is eligible for an Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) gold card, which is a mark of competence.

Traditionally, apprenticeships were only for young people, but now employers receive funding for apprentices of any age. So, you’ll just need to cover their wages, and no national insurance is payable for apprentices under 25. You’ll receive support from your training provider to manage the whole process.

If you’re interested in taking on an apprentice, you can reserve apprenticeship funding and nominate your preferred training provider to handle recruitment and administrative tasks. For additional information and registration, please visit