How an Equine Apprenticeship can benefit your child
As specialist equine recruitment consultants, we see the good and bad outcomes of unstructured career pathways and the results of the “rooky errors” young people make without correct guidance. We’re passionate about the part we can play in improving the role of an equine groom as a credible career pathway and we’ll always do our utmost to encourage your child to make safe career decisions.
Many young people wishing to work in the equine industry will make a blind leap into it by accepting the first job available to them. Needless to say, this isn’t always a constructive foundation for a fruitful career in the equine industry. Many grooms resort to “job-hopping” in search of the training and opportunities they crave, without realising the damaging effect this has on their CV and future career prospects.
By contrast, an Equine Apprenticeship makes the job seeker focus on what they would like to achieve within their career and how they can achieve it. The job seeker can then source meaningful employment as an Apprentice Groom, enabling them to earn while they learn, laying the foundation of a promising career – and ultimately become one of the best professional grooms in the equine industry.
As specialist equine recruitment consultants, we offer you 8 considerations you need to take before deciding whether an Equine Apprenticeship will benefit your child.
1. A stepping stone from school or college into working life via work-based learning
Since 2016, in the UK it is compulsory for school leavers aged 16-17 to stay in full-time education, and this includes 6th form, college and Apprenticeships. Unlike 6th form or college, Apprenticeships enable your son/daughter to venture into the real world of their chosen profession whilst remaining in full-time education.
If your son/daughter is 18 or older and it’s no longer a legal requirement to remain in full-time education, an Equine Apprenticeship is a means of continuing specialised training at no cost to you or your son/daughter. This is especially relevant in an industry that is not catered for through mainstream education, such as the equine industry.
Transitioning from a mainstream classroom environment into such a working environment can be a huge step for young people, and an Equine Apprenticeship can ease that transition with a hugely positive effect.
2. Receiving support and guidance helps avoid naive career moves and mistakes
With an Equine Apprenticeship your son/daughter will receive work-based guidance and training from people who have chosen to invest their time – and often money – in nurturing your son/daughter’s career ambitions. Rather than learn in the classroom/college environment, your son/daughter will receive scheduled, prioritised training directly within bona fide employment, overseen by an independent Training Provider.
With this, your son/daughter has direct support and guidance on industry specific career planning and good working practices, laying the foundation for structured career development in the years to come. By receiving supervised, structured work-based training and experience, your son/daughter can avoid making costly mistakes under the misguided belief that they’re building their CV or closing in on their career goals. Simultaneously gaining qualifications, receiving a salary and building positive work history is an effective, legitimate route to achieving this, like no other.
We have a great article about the value of a formal equine apprenticeship, written by Olivia Alstad, a former trainee groom – do have a read yourself, as well as your child: Ultimate Equestrian Apprentice Startup Kit.
Read more about the key changes your child can expect when swapping horses as a hobby for horses as a career here.
Read more about the impact of job longevity in the equine industry here.
3. Education, experience and qualifications without debt
For learners aged 18 or more, an Apprenticeship is one of the few opportunities available to gain invaluable training and nationally recognised qualifications without cost to the learner or their parents/guardians. 2017 saw changes to the law regarding the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices, meaning learners are no longer tied to the lowest hourly rate throughout their work-based training.
The minimum hourly wage an Apprentice Groom must receive varies depending on their age and the stage they are at in their apprenticeship course.
- Aged 16-17 years an apprentice is paid £4.15 per hour (April 2020-April 2021)
- Aged 19 and over an apprentice in their first year of an apprenticeship can be paid at least £4.15 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.
An Apprentice Groom can be paid a higher hourly rate, but this is at the discretion of the individual employer. Read more about the National Minimum Wage here.
To be able to earn while you learn AND have your training fees fully funded rather than take on debt, is undoubtedly a great opportunity for a positive start to adult life.
Your son/daughter might benefit from and enjoy our article 5 Reasons why Apprentice Grooms are always #winning.
4. Valuable hands-on, paid experience for your child’s CV
An Apprentice is an official employment status, therefore all such positions count towards your son’s/daughter’s employment history and are valid entries to their CV. Future employers will appreciate that, as a potential employee, your son/daughter not only has relevant qualifications but has genuine, credible work experience which can be backed up by references from the employers they have trained with.
Learn more about writing an equine CV here.
Because an Apprenticeship is an employment status your child must be offered the same conditions as other employees working at similar grades or in similar roles. This includes:
5. Ongoing training and employment opportunities
Whether your son/daughter starts their Equine Apprenticeship via a Traineeship or via a Level 1, 2 or 3 Equine Apprenticeship, there is scope for further training and career development. There are a number of Equine Apprenticeship “pathways” and an Equine Groom can decide to train (and gain qualifications) in more than one of them over the years:
- Sporting Excellence Study Programmes
The duration of each level within each “pathway” will allow your son/daughter to gain experience with the same or a variety of employers over the years and still maintain a good CV with a positive employment history.
Read more about Traineeships and Apprenticeship course options here.
6. The opportunity to take their own horse
Whilst it isn’t a necessity for Equine Apprentices to have their own horse, having a horse of their own will not prevent your son/daughter from getting a job. Many employers will livery an Apprentice Groom’s horse free of charge, some will charge a livery fee. When your son/daughter accepts an offer of employment, ensure you are clear on this and that you have an agreement in writing as to the financial arrangement for their horse’s livery and keep.
You can read more about taking pets or a horse to an equine job here.
7. The first taste of leaving home
Many Apprentice Groom vacancies are live in, and some employers will provide rent-free accommodation as part of the job. Frequently, entry-level job roles come with accommodation that is shared with another young groom working on the yard. This allows young grooms to experience their first taste of independence by flat/house sharing under the supervision of their employer.
Employees aged 16-17 years can accept a live in Apprentice role with the written consent of their parent/guardian.
Read more about taking a job with accommodation here.
8. Future career contacts and career prospects
Because Equine Apprenticeships are employment opportunities your son/daughter will be embarking directly into a valid, salaried career and with it comes all the associated benefits and opportunities. Many Equine Apprentices will stay on as a permanent team member with the employer they have trained with.
Apprenticeships are now available to learners of any age, so your son/daughter can always follow another Apprenticeship “pathway” later on. Throughout their career they will be able to come back to The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment time and again as the years pass for free, no-obligation careers advice and to find the best equine job opportunities available to them as they work their way up the equine career ladder.
Read more about why The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment is the go-to place for equine apprenticeships here.
Read more about how we help job seekers here.