“Isn’t Intern the American word for apprentice?” one of my colleagues asked the other day. The short answer is no and the long answer is both can benefit your business. But what IS the difference?

The type of apprenticeship someone can apply for is incredibly varied, courses are available in all kinds of sectors, including agriculture, media, business administration, Law, IT, Leisure… you name it and there’s probably an apprenticeship in it!

An apprenticeship combines practical training in a job alongside study, so if your business is looking to take someone on, you’ll need to be prepared to invest proper time in providing on the job training and allowing them one study day a week. Apprenticeships generally last between 1 and 5 years and an apprentice will earn a wage and be entitled to holiday pay.

Apprenticeships are available to all learners aged 16 and above who aren’t in full time education and existing employees can also join an apprenticeship programme if they want to upskill in their current career.

There are lots of organisations who can talk to you about apprenticeships and what’s available, a great place to start is UCAS or the Government website and if you’re Nottinghamshire based then Futures have a wide range of apprenticeships and training available.

Internships are sometimes described as “work placements” or “work experience”, so the placement may just be a one-off period of a week or a day a week. It might be that an internship takes the form of “job-shadowing”, so someone can get a flavour of a job and what’s required.

An Internship doesn’t offer a formal qualification. An intern is entitled to minimum wage if they count as a worker. They aren’t entitled to a wage if they’ve undertake an internship of less than one year as part of a UK based further or higher education course, they’re 16 or under and are undertaking compulsory work experience, it’s voluntary work or they’re work shadowing. If you’re unsure, then the Government website has more information.

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