Safeguarding Apprentices - what are employers' obligations?

Safeguarding Apprentices - what are employers' obligations?

According to Apprenticeship statistics for England, in the 2017/18 academic year, 814,800 young people joined an apprenticeship scheme, nearly a quarter of whom were under 19. 

The age profile of people starting apprenticeships changed between 2016/17 and 2017/18, with a higher proportion of starts from younger apprentices.

The gender profile also changed. In 2017/18, 49% of apprenticeships starts were by women and 51% by men. This was the first time that more apprenticeships have been started by men than women since 2009/10.

 

Why do employers have to safeguard apprentices?

Any organisation educating young people under the age of 18 has statutory responsibilities under current legislation such as ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’.

Apprentices need to be safeguarded against the same range of risks and dangers as their peers in schools and colleges. Due to their relative inexperience in the workplace apprentices may be particularly vulnerable to anxiety or struggle to cope with the transition. Systems can help staff recognise this and offer suitable support to those who need it. Organisations offering any kind of apprenticeship or traineeship to young people need to put processes in place to protect their learners.

 

How to safeguard apprentices

Manchester Metropolitan University operates an apprenticeship scheme and advises:

  • Employes should familiarise themselves with relevant government legislation and take appropriate steps to understand what safeguarding means in practice at their organisation, in the context of the responsibilities they have for the people they employ.
  • Ensure that any staff working with apprentices in a position of trust are appropriate for the role and do not present any danger or threat.
  • Ensure that any people working with young or vulnerable people have had an appropriate check completed with the Disclosure and Barring service.
  • If possible, identify a person to coordinate safeguarding across an organisation.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the principles that underpin the Prevent Duty. Seek specialist support if any concerns are raised.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to British values.
  • Adhere to the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
  • Ensure apprentices are made aware of your organisation's policies on using the internet and technology in the workplace.
  • Understand the dangers apprentices may face using technology in the workplace and act to minimise risks. 
 

Safeguarding training courses for apprentice employers

Our extensive portfolio of online safeguarding and duty of care training courses can support any employer who is working with young people in apprenticeship schemes.

Our Level 2, CPD certified courses each come with a downloadable, personalised certificate to evidence learning and users of our online learning service can access a full reporting suite to monitor progress.

 

Recommended courses for employers of apprentices:

 

The Prevent Duty

This course is designed to build your understanding of extremism and radicalisation, how people may be drawn into terrorism and what you should do if you have a concern. Meets national Police-approved standards.

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The Prevent Duty
 

Safer Recruitment 

This course looks at what you need to do to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults from unsuitable people who might apply to join your organisation.

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Safer Recruitment
 

Safeguarding Young People

Safeguarding Young People, endorsed by established youth organisations, provides the key information needed to help raise your awareness of young people who may be vulnerable because of their age, relative inexperience, past abusive experiences or current circumstances.

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Safeguarding Young People
 

Online Safety

This course meets national Police-approved standards, and will help you to understand the potential risks and dangers associated with keeping children and young people safe online.

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Online Safety
 

Equality and Diversity

Equality & Diversity is a concise course that explains the fundamentals of equality and diversity and how they affect you.

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Equality and Diversity

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