A step by step guide to employing an Apprentice Groom
Everyone likes to keep things simple, and sometimes gathering all the information needed before making decisions and acting on them can be time-consuming. With this in mind, The Grooms List team have put together a simple step-by-step guide to employing an Apprentice Groom, from writing your advert to retaining your fully trained Apprentice Groom beyond their final qualification.
1. Get advice from an Equine Recruitment expert
Before you can train an Apprentice Groom you need to recruit one! In order for your partnership with your Apprentice Groom to work you need to find the right individual for your yard and job role. Therefore, the right advice is critical.
- Collectively, here at The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment, we have over 20 years of equine recruitment experience specifically. It’s what we do, all day, every day, for all kinds of yards and employers. Read more about why we are the go-to recruitment agency for apprentice grooms here.
- We will be able to chat through your wishlist, the daily/weekly/monthly functioning of your yard, discuss the type of apprenticeship course that would benefit your yard and advise you on how to go about finding and securing your ideal candidate.
- By seeking professional recruitment advice you are more likely to avoid common mistakes and legal pitfalls in the process.
- You can come back to us in step 3 when you come to advertise and search for your prospective Apprentice Groom.
- To discuss your requirements and start the process contact us here.
2. Get advice from an Equine Training Provider
It’s important to make the right choice when selecting your Equine Training Provider as you will be working closely with them throughout the following months (or even years) and you will rely upon them for support and advice on the training of your Apprentice Groom. We are happy to recommend Equine Specific Apprentice Training Providers with breadth and depth of experience and on the job know how, and as such know how to deliver high-quality vocational training programmes, Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
Read more about finding and selecting the right Apprenticeship Training Provider for you and your yard here.
To discuss your requirements and start the process contact us here.
3. Advertise your Apprentice Groom Vacancy
How you present your Apprentice Groom Vacancy is critical to you generating interest and receiving applications from appropriate candidates – The Grooms List team can help you with that. When advertising your Apprentice Groom Vacancy you need to consider the following points:
- Establish your salary package.
- Own horse/Pets: Decide in advance if a horse/dog is welcome/possible at your yard and how that will work for both you and your Apprentice Groom with regards to space, livery and other dynamics within your yard. Allowing your Apprentice Groom to bring pets (within reason!) will certainly widen your scope for finding the best candidate for your vacancy.
- Accommodation: Decide if you can offer your Apprentice Groom accommodation and know the associated laws in doing so – read more here.
- Hourly Wage: Consider how much you will pay your Apprentice Groom. To attract and secure the very best candidates available to you, you need to be clear in advance on your min/max regarding hourly wage. Remember, the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is not a recommended hourly wage, it is the minimum you can pay your groom per hour, including their time spent at college. To make your vacancy competitive it’s worth considering offering your Apprentice Groom a higher hourly rate than the NMW. Read more here.
- Read more about negotiating a salary package in the equine industry here.
- Take time to describe your, horses, your yard and the daily lifestyle whilst working with you. Common mistakes to avoid:
- Don’t be vague: Try not to write an advert stating the obvious whilst leaving out the unique details and attractions of your job vacancy. An advert reading just “Level 2 Apprenticeship on a livery yard” is not going to make your vacancy stand out. Try to describe what daily life will be like on your yard specifically, the environment your Apprentice Groom will be working within, and the benefits and bonuses of working for you above anyone else offering the same apprenticeship course.
- Don’t discriminate: Beware of falling foul of anti-discrimination laws when attracting applicants. If you advertise your Apprentice Groom vacancy on The Grooms List we will personally check your advert before it is made publicly visible, thus offering you protection from inadvertently leaving yourself vulnerable with regards to anti-discrimination laws.
- Read more about writing your job vacancy advert here.
4. Contact potential candidates directly by searching The Grooms List Apprentice Grooms Directory
Full, unlimited access to The Grooms List Apprentice Groom Directory is included in the fee to place your job vacancy advert. Make the most of the features available to employers on The Grooms List…
- Contact candidates directly using the details displayed at the top of their Jobseekers Profile.
- Use our handy Private Messaging system to keep all your correspondence in one place on The Grooms List website.
- Check your applications and respond to all applicants, even to let them know you do not wish to progress their application.
- The Grooms List offers preset acceptance and rejection responses to help you keep on top of your applications, or you can delete these a write your own personal message instead.
5. Interview candidates, check references and when appropriate make a formal offer of employment
It goes without saying that when employing an Apprentice Groom it is just as important to telephone interview, interview and even second interview an applicant before making a formal offer of employment. A few pointers…
- A good Equine Recruitment Agency like The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment will be on-hand to discuss and advise on this process.
- Pre-employment checks are imperative before making a formal offer of employment. If you are employing a school leaver, where appropriate, you might accept references from riding instructors, their livery yard or college.
- It’s a good idea for employers to make a job offer in writing and ask for a response in writing to prevent complications or possible disputes further down the line.
6. Issue a Written Statement of Employment Particulars (an “Employment Contract”)
Because an Apprentice is an official employment status you must issue your Apprentice Groom with a Written Statement of Employment Particulars (an employment contract).
- The Written Statement of Employment Particulars (often just referred to as a “Written Statement”) must be issued to your Apprentice Groom no later than 2 months after offically starting work with you.
- The Written Statement can be a single document or a group of documents, which may include:
- Staff handbook
- Code of Conduct
- Health and Safety Guidelines,
- The Written Statement must include a Principle Statement (the “employment contract”).
- You must offer apprentices the same conditions as other employees working at similar grades or in similar roles. This includes:
- Sick pay
- Paid holidays
- Any benefits you offer such as childcare voucher schemes
7. Plan and schedule the structured training your Apprentice Groom requires
As an employer of an Apprentice Groom you are required by law to ensure your learner receives the necessary opportunities and training they need in order to pass their assessments.
- Training can be given directly by the employer or by a suitably qualified team member. Your Training Provider can advise you on who on your yard is suitably qualified to train your Apprentice Groom.
- Training must make up at least 20% of the Apprentice Groom’s working time – 8 or more hours per 5 day week.
- Employers are duty-bound to ensure appropriate, regular and scheduled, structured training is provided and this routine must be adhered to throughout the duration of the Apprenticeship course. There is little-to-no wriggle room on this. If your yard is likely to be too busy to prioritise scheduled training then committing to the responsibility of an Apprentice Groom is inadvisable. Your Training Provider can advise further on this.
8. Look after your Apprentice Groom
It’s imperative to not only provide a safe and secure environment for your Apprentice Groom (of any level), but to also be mindful of their development and contribution to your yard, team and business.
- Providing a safe and secure working environment is an “implied term” of ANY employment contract, and is actually automatically part of a contract even if it is not written down.
- Be aware of your Apprentice Groom’s age and stage, and offer relevant opportunities and pay increases accordingly.
- Legal pay-rises: Be aware of birthdays, NMW increases, and the date your Apprentice Groom starts the second year of their Apprenticeship course so you can make the legal pay increases at the correct times. Read more here.
- Recognition: Where possible, recognise your Apprentice Groom’s development and, as they become an increasing asset to your team and yard, consider issuing a pay rise. Remember, the NMW rates are not recommended pay scales, they are merely the minimum amount you can legally pay per hour worked, and many employers choose to pay more.
- Paid hours: Apprentice Grooms must be paid for the hours they spend at college – usually 1 in 5 working days or 1 or 2 days every 4-6 weeks.
- Staff retention: An Apprentice Groom who has enjoyed their training and feels like a valued member of an established team is more likely to want to stay working for you after their course is complete.
- As with any employer, you need to be very conscious of the Working Hours Directive. Keep an accurate record of the hours your Apprentice Groom works so you can be certain you aren’t in breach of this.
- You can read more on the common pitfalls of employing staff and how to avoid them here.
9. If things don’t work out with your Apprentice Groom
If things don’t work out as expected and you find yourself or the Apprentice Groom terminating the employment contract, a substitute Apprentice Groom can be found.
- Communication: First and foremost, speak to your Apprentice Groom about any issues that are arising.
- Advice: If issues can’t be resolved, speak to your Training Provider, who will be able to advise you on the next steps.
- Replace: If the worst comes to the worst and you find yourself replacing your Apprentice Groom, speak to us at The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment. We can help you source and recruit a replacement Apprentice Groom.
10. Beyond the Apprenticeship
Once your Apprentice Groom has completed their course and gained the desired qualification, you may consider the following points…
- Further training: Offer your existing Apprentice Groom the opportunity to progress their training within your yard.
- Ongoing employment: You may wish to offer your now qualified Apprentice Groom permanent employment as a groom on your yard. After all, they know the workings of your yard and they are trained by you/your team!
- Start afresh: You may wish to offer a new Apprentice Groom the opportunity to train with you.