ATAs offer a unique approach to the recruitment of apprentices. They are specifically designed to support employers who wish to take on an apprentice but are unable to in the current economic climate. In particular they can support employers whose order book will not currently allow them to commit to employing an apprentice for the full period of the Apprenticeship, but know that they will need fully trained employees when the economy picks up.
The distinctive feature of the ATA model is that it is the ATA who acts as the apprentice employer and who places them with a host employer. The host employer pays the ATA a fee for the apprentices’ services; this fee being based on the wage agreed with the host and the ATA management fee.
The ATA model offers other benefits for the employer. These include;
- Support with recruitment – finding the right apprentice to meet the employers’ needs
- Responsibility for the wages, tax, National Insurance as well as administration and performance management.
- Supervision of the apprentice during the Apprenticeship period
- Links with an approved training provider and support to both the apprentice and host employer throughout the Apprenticeship.
Also key is the flexibility the ATA can offer both to the employer and to the apprentice. If circumstances change the ATA will find alternative and appropriate employment for the apprentice giving them the reassurance that they can continue their Apprenticeship, whilst ensuring the employer knows they have this option.
The ATA is not a temporary worker business but rather a means to offer real flexibility in the delivery of a high quality Apprenticeship. This flexibility also applies where employers may not be able to offer all aspects of a framework but linking them with other host employers allows the full range to be covered.
For the young person the ATA gives another route into an Apprenticeship which can offer them the opportunity to experience a range of employers and increased security around the continuation of their Apprenticeship.
The Apprenticeship Training Agency model is being developed to contribute to the success of Apprenticeships by giving access for a greater number of employers and young people.