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How an Apprenticeship could benefit your equine career

Naturally, you want to make the right moves at the right time throughout your working life, but finding the information you need to make informed decisions isn’t always easy. As specialist equine recruitment consultants, we’re passionate about the part we can play in improving the role of an equine groom as a credible career pathway. Whether you’re starting out in the equine industry or you’re an established groom looking to build your career, read our top 8 considerations for grooms who would like to pursue the possibility of becoming an Equine Apprentice.

A step by step guide to becoming an Apprentice Groom

The Grooms List team have put together a simple step-by-step guide to the process of becoming an Apprentice Groom, from choosing an appropriate course to finding ongoing employment once you are a qualified Equine Groom.

The Grooms List Apprenticeships Zone - Become an Apprentice Groom - A Parents Guide - Infographic

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Course levels are available for all degrees of experience with horses, starting with a “traineeship” for complete beginners, right through to Senior Groom level for more experienced equestrians. Read more about the course levels here.

For job seekers, finding and starting an Equine Apprenticeship course is fairly straightforward. Search Equine Apprenticeship vacancies on The Grooms List and start applying for suitable opportunites to make it happen. An Apprenticeship is an employment status, so the steps between applying for and starting an Equine Apprenticeship are much the same as when applying for a regular job. Read more about these steps here.

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

1. You may need to attend college whilst working for your employer. 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 be paid for your hours at college as well as your working hours. If the Apprenticeship course is supported by Educ8 Equine all training will be delivered within the workplace and you will not have to travel offsite to receive this part of your training.

2. The employer must offer you adequate work-based opportunities to learn, practice and gain experience at everything needed to achieve their qualifications. This must amount to at least 20% of the time you spend at work (a minimum of 8 hours dedicated training each week).

No charges will be passed on to you or your parents in return for training. The majority of Equine Apprenticeships are fully funded by the Government, and any cost incurred by an employer cannot be charged to you.

The minimum hourly wage an Apprentice Groom must receive varies depending on their age and the stage you are at in your 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 the 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 an apprenticeship must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age.

An Apprentice Groom can be paid a higher hourly rate, but this is at the discretion of the individual employer.

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. Every person a yard employs must be paid an hourly rate, at least the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices or for their age. There are strict guidelines on what can be deducted from the National Minimum Wage, which you can read more about here.

As an Apprentice is an official employed status the same laws apply as with any other job. The exception is that an Apprentice’s training must be included within the maximum hours worked, including time spent at college. The Working Time Directive sets out clear guidelines on how many hours an employee works:

  • Workers aged under 18 can’t work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, and must have 2 consecutive days off work.
  • Workers aged 18 and over can’t work more than 48 hours a week on average – normally averaged over 17 weeks, and do not require consecutive days off work.

There are plenty of job vacancies available that allow employees to take their own horse with them to the job. Many employers will accommodate a horse free of charge, others will charge a livery fee – discuss this with a potential employer when searching for Apprentice Groom Vacancies, and ensure the financial aspects are detailed in your Written Statement of Employment Particulars (employment contract).

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

Yes, but there are no guarantees that individual vacancies will still be open by the time you’re available to start the job. Stay in touch with any employers you’re in conversation with, and contact us with any queries and for guidance throughout your job seeking process.

Yes. Because an Apprentice is an official employment status, all employment laws apply, including the requirement to be issued a Written Statement of Employment Particulars (the “employment contract”) within 2 months of starting work. You can read more about the Written Statement of Employment Particulars here.

No. An Apprentice is an official employment status and all employment laws are applicable to the job role.

No. Either employee or employer can give notice in the normal way for any employment situation. Your apprenticeship can be transferred to a different employer and the employer can replace you with a new employee. However, you must have valid reasons for terminating an Apprenticeship and not simply decide that you no longer wish to continue with it. Speak to us for more information on this.

Add your Jobseekers Profile to The Apprentice Grooms Directory

Add your Jobseekers Profile to The Grooms List Apprentice Grooms Directory – completely free of charge! Search, save, and apply for jobs whenever you like from any device, even your mobile phone. Set up Job Alerts and receive an email each time a new job is added that meets your requirements. Contact us for advice at any time throughout your job hunt.

Who are we and why use us to find an Apprenticeship?

Employing an Apprentice Groom
The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment is invested in the Grooms of the Future via Apprenticeships.

  • We have partnered with Educ8 Group to deliver world-class Apprenticeship programmes via a highly experienced team of trainers/coaches who can deliver a comprehensive range of equine apprenticeships for all ages and levels of experience. Find out more about our partnership with Educ8 Equine here.
  • With established relationships with employers and job seekers alike, we are the go-to recruitment advisers in both the UK and overseas for equine job seekers.
  • We offer one-to-one, impartial, no-obligation careers and recruitment advice to job seekers throughout their equine career, from finding their very first job, building their CV, making the right moves at the right time.

Further reading


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

Registered company number 10657796good site
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