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How an Apprentice Groom could benefit your yard

It’s reasonable to conclude the pool of experienced grooms wanting to remain working with horses and available to yards is diminishing as the years pass. Trainee grooms, including apprentices, are an opportunity most yards could benefit from, as they represent the lifeblood to the equine industry. The ins and outs of employing Apprentice Grooms seem complicated but it doesn’t have to be that way. Read our brief overview of why employing an Apprentice Groom might be right for your yard.

A step by step guide to employing an Apprentice Groom

From writing a job vacancy advert to settling in your new employee, the process of offering an Apprenticeship vacancy and employing an Apprentice Groom is straightforward, especially when things are done in the right way at the right time. This is where we can help you. Find out more about what to expect with our step by step guide to employing an Apprentice Groom through The Grooms List.

The Grooms List Apprenticeship Zone - Simple Step by Step Guide to Employing an Apprentice Groom

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s actually very simple. An “apprentice” is an official employment status (not a student status) so an employer’s legal obligations are no different to those when employing an established groom.

The course options, often referred to as ‘pathways’, are simple:

  • Breeding
  • Driving
  • Racing
  • Riding
  • Non-riding
  • Sporting Excellence Study Programmes

You can read more about the course options you can choose from here.

It takes as little as a few days to set up an apprenticeship. Speak to Educ8 Equine about your requirements, advertise your vacancy on The Grooms List and search our Apprentice Directory to make it happen.

Depending on the course, equine apprenticeships usually last 12-18 months.

  • If you employ less than 50 members of staff and your Apprentice Groom is aged 16-17 years old the Government will fund 100% of the course fees.
  • If you employ a 16-17 year old apprentice you can receive an “incentive” payment from the Government of up to £1000.
  • If your Apprentice Groom is aged 19 or more at the start of the Apprenticeship course the government will fund 90% of the course fees.

You can read more about the costs of employing an apprentice here.

The minimum hourly wage you must pay an Apprentice Groom varies depending on the employee’s age and the stage they are at in their apprenticeship course.

  • Aged 16-17 years an apprentice is paid £3.70 per hour (April 2018-April 2019)
  • Aged 19 and over an apprentice in their first year of an apprenticeship can be paid at least £3.70 per hour
  • Aged 19 and over an apprentice in the second year of their apprenticeship must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age.

You can pay your Apprentice Groom a higher hourly rate, which inevitably helps to improve morale, loyalty and staff retention, and will certainly make your Apprentice Groom vacancy more attractive when recruiting an Apprentice Groom.

Not necessarily. It’s advisable not to approach an apprenticeship in this mindset. As of 2017, a job seeker of any age can apply for an apprenticeship, and even an existing groom can gain qualifications via this route. In line with these changes, the legal obligations for paying an apprentice are as follows:

  • Aged 16-17 years an apprentice is paid £3.70 per hour (April 2018-April 2019)
  • Aged 19 and over an apprentice in their first year of an apprenticeship can be paid at least £3.70 per hour
  • Aged 19 and over an apprentice in the second year of their apprenticeship must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age.

1. Your Apprentice Groom may need to attend college whilst working for you. This can vary from one or two days every 4-6 weeks to 1 in every 5 working days – speak to prospective employers and Training Providers about this.  You must pay your Apprentice Groom for the hours at college as well as their working hours. If the Apprenticeship course is supported by Educ8 Equine all training will be delivered within the workplace and your Apprentice Groom will not have to travel offsite to receive this part of their training.

2. As an employer, you must offer your apprentice groom adequate opportunities to learn, practice and gain experience at everything needed for them to achieve their qualifications.

Yes. Many Equine Apprentice vacancies are “live in” jobs. However, if a candidate is under 18 years of age the employer must seek the parent’s/guardian’s written consent for their child to live away from home.

No. “An apprentice” is a legal employment status and the apprenticeship course must be supported by a Training Provider like Educ8 Equine, and all employment laws apply to apprentices, just the same as any other more experienced/established groom you employ. Every person a yard employs must be paid an hourly rate, at least the National Minimum Wage for their age. There are strict guidelines on what can be deducted from the National Minimum Wage, which you can read more about here.

No. The Government funds course fees, so an Apprenticeship is free of charge for Apprentices of all ages.

No. Either employee or employer can give notice in the normal way for any employment situation.  The apprenticeship can be transferred to a different employer.  The apprentice can be replaced by a new employee.

Search our Apprentice Groom Directory

Our Apprentice Groom Directory is already substantial and is the fastest growing job board in the equine industry with many current, relevant and keen Apprentice Grooms signing up every day looking for apprentice vacancies:

  • Locally
  • UK-wide
  • All course levels
  • All experience levels

Whether you need someone who lives locally to live out, with or without their own horse/pets etc, you’re bound to find a suitable Apprentice Groom on The Grooms List’s Apprentice Grooms Directory!

Apprentice Grooms Directory

Advertise a job vacancy for an Apprentice Groom

Post a job vacancy advert on The Grooms List so job seekers know to contact you. Subscriptions start at £60 inv VAT and include full access to The Apprentice Groom Directory.

Further reading


Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd
The Stables
Fildyke Road
SG17 5LU
0203 006 5730 / 07747 686 118

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Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd is registered with the UK Information Commissioner as a data controller with registered number ZA250621


The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment in partnership with Educ8 Equine