Manager’s guide to modern apprentice recruitment

Table of Contents

Deciding a framework

It is important that Modern Apprentices are taken on in line with your workforce plan. If you have identified that you have an opportunity to take on a Modern Apprentice, it is important that you consider the role which you want them to undertake. A question to ask yourself may be: Is it an industry specific Modern Apprentice or is it a support function, e.g. Business and Administration, marketing, customer service or project management?

Once you have established the type of Modern Apprenticeship you are looking to offer, you need to consider the level it will be at. A list of all of the frameworks has been created within this guide. The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework will help you identify the level at which each Modern Apprenticeship is at, which might be of use to you when deciding the framework and level. The framework will also determine the length of Modern Apprenticeship to offer.

If you need further assistance with this, please contact

Training providers

Once you have agreed on the framework in which you are going to offer, you should contact the training providers which are eligible to deliver within Argyll and Bute. The training providers can be found here and you can filter on the framework and the area.

It is recommended that you contact at least 3 training providers if possible. This will give you an idea of all the providers available and should ensure you select the one which best meets your needs. You may have questions of your own however as a minimum you should ask the following questions:

  1. Are you able to deliver a XX apprenticeship within Argyll and Bute
  2. My apprentice will be based in XX, will they require to travel to access their training?
  3. If my apprentice is aged 19-24, will there be an employer contribution required for the training? If so how much*

*This question is extremely important as many training providers charge extra for apprentices who are over 19. As our apprenticeships are open to those aged 19-24, if your successful candidate is over 19 then the recruiting service will have to pay. If you ask a number of training providers you usually find some that will ask for no contribution. HROD recommend you go for these.

For recommendations on training providers, contact

Job Description, Person Specification (JDPS)

The next thing you need to do is to create a JDPS, A template can be found here.

Please remember that this is an apprenticeship and therefore the JDPS needs to reflect this.

The JDPS does not need to go through Job Evaluation but it does need to be checked by HROD. Prior to advertising the vacancies you should send it to for review.

You should also check with your training provider that they do not have any specific requirements for the apprenticeship.

Following recruitment process

Once you have achieved the following steps you are ready to advertise:

  • Selected an apprenticeship framework
  • Selected a training provider
  • Created a JDPS and it has been checked by HROD

The recruitment process is the same as it is for all other vacancies. You can find information on how to recruit posts here. The information contained below, will help with this process.


Posts are advertised through Talentlink. Details on how to use Talentlink can be found here.

When entering the salary scale you should select MA 1.

The salary is £5.28 per hour for the first 6 months raising to the living wage for any subsequent months.

This means the salary bandings would be £9,900 – £14,717 per year for a 35 hour post.

When creating your wording for your advert you must include the following sentence:

Please note we pay our apprentices £5.28 per hour for the first 6 months rising to the Living Wage thereafter (which is currently £10.85).

Advertising the vacancy

Once your vacancy is live, to increase your chances of attracting a high number of applicants for the post you should:

  1. Advertise the vacancy on scot . To do this you will need to create an account and follow the steps for advertising a vacancy.
  2. Send a link of the vacancy to . This will allow HROD to promote the vacancy to schools, developing the young workforce and careers advisers.
  3. Ask your training provider if they can help promote the vacancy – a number of them will do this for free.

Short leeting and interviewing

You should follow the short leeting and interviewing process as you would for any other vacancy. Guidance can be found here.

When undertaking short leeting and conducting interviews for Modern Apprentice vacancies, the following points should be taken into consideration:

  • When shortlisting, you may find some applications have only minimal information and it can be difficult to check against each criterion. Be flexible where possible and consider offering an interview if they mostly meet the essential criteria.
  • Where possible, offer feedback to any candidates not shortlisted for interview, this will help them develop application skills for the future.
  • Interviews should be kept quite short, 20 minutes should be sufficient.
  • Take into consideration the potential inexperience of the candidate and carefully consider what questions you use to ensure you get the relevant information from them to assess their competence.
  • A basic practical exercise or test can also be carried out, as long as it is relevant to the work to be undertaken and does not take more than 10 minutes to complete.
  • Try to keep the interview as informal as possible while remaining professional. For many candidates this will be their first interview and they are likely to be quite nervous.
  • Explain the process at the start so they know what to expect, i.e. panel will take notes, they can ask questions at any time/or at the end, when they will be informed of the outcome and by what method (phone, email etc.).
  • Start with an ice-breaker question which they will be able to answer easily – i.e. asking them about their interests or school studies, or another area relevant to them personally.
  • Be prepared to repeat or re-word questions if they appear to be struggling to answer, or put things into a scenario for them.
  • Notify them when you say you will, or update them if the decision is likely to be delayed.
  • Take up at least one reference before making an offer.
  • Provide feedback to all interviewed candidates to help them with future job applications. This can be via phone or email.

Successful Candidate

Once you have appointed the candidate, you should follow the usual recruitment process and follow the steps in the guidance. Once a start date has been agreed, you will need to let your training provider know and you should read I have employed a Modern Apprentice – What happens next.


For further information

You should also refer to the following guidance documents and training

Guidance on how to recruit an apprentice.

Guidance on utilising apprenticeship frameworks to upskill existing employees.

Training for mentors to support apprentices can be found here.

For further information or guidance please contact HROD by emailing