For Plasterers looking to take on an Apprentice

Not open for further replies.
this is a serious post (makes a change) for all you spreads who would like an apprentice but figure the financial outlay is prohibitive.

Lets be honest, we would all like a help now and then , it makes life easier. An apprentice can be a great asset or nightmare depending on the individual but it also raises the question "how is it possible to finance them ?"

Some of you will know this already but the government have funding available for 40,000 work places, the funding is targeted at employers with less than 250 employees, which makes 99% of us spreads eligible.

The funding consists of a grant paid direct to the employer of 1500.
Your apprentice must be between 16-24 and you have to pay them the NMW. (best age in my opinion)
The grant is paid in 2 installments, the first is 750 after 8 weeks and the reminder at the end of a 12 month term, if the employee leaves or is dismissed after the 8 weeks; for example the 30 week then the 2nd installment is forfeited.

The other caveat is you must not have employed an apprentice for the last 3 years( might be 4 cant remember but there are exceptions).

I can testify this works well, I have always had apprentices over the years for my business' but this really does ease the burden "of wanting too, but unable too".

I have had bad and good experiences with apprentices but we do with employees, give them a chance, we had the chance and I feel we should give something back.

A great chance to revive the area previous governments have f***d up.

Rock on ! (now back to more important things, the alphabet game)

the paperwork isn't a ball ache in any way.
Basically you need to contact your local college that obviously runs nvq plasterers courses.
They will then ask what your requirements are; you are then asked to provide proof of public liability and employees insurance.
The college will then help you as a new apprenticeship provider to apply for a grant, they will also provide assurance and anything else you need help with along the way.
If you have an apprentice in mind you can approach the college and say you have an apprentice who wants to attend and you can provide the work placement. Ask about the grants and your away.
You can have up to three apprentices at any one time, you can in-fact be awarded 4500 for the 3 apprentices, obviously subject to the 8 week and 12 month conditions.
This is the first year we are going for the grants ( obviously they only started April) and everything is sorted for September, the college couldnt have been more helpful.
In previous years we have taken on apprentices from colleges in my plastering outfit and in other business' we have, but this grant has meant we can offer young people the opputunities they deserve; before it was "well we would like one but cant afford one".
Speak to your local college they are more than willing to help,; in-fact offering a placement is a condition of most vocational courses!

Also the apprentice spends one day at college in which you have to provide the NMW, this can be 1 hour plus, depends on the college, you also have to provide 30 hours per week including college time.

Rock on !


Trainee mod
To be honest bb takin random apprentices is a pain in the arse, I've dealt with loads over the years and we've probably produced 3 to 5 good ones over say the last 10-15 years ? Most drop out within 6 months. Attitude is paramount ie turn up, take an intrest for the trade and to many want it now big money, nights out , hangovers, fancy cars etc. Not worth a feck.They have good grades from school but s**t attitude. Good boys are hard to come by nowadays, wee gems come along that you know you can mould and make success of them, I know a boy still now i had and he is out on his own and got two boys working for him, good lad. Great sense of satisfaction for me, he came out of school with feck all???.... Sometimes it just aint worth the hassle.:RpS_thumbup:

I agree with you regarding the attitudes and commitment or lack of it with some. We, as I am sure you do, work very with the colleges.
What we do is as I am sure you do again, conduct interviews etc, the college is well aware of what we find acceptable and they will steer who they think would be suitable our way.
We also put them on a 3 month probationary period and write this into a contract with other restrictive covenants.
We have had to get very savvy with employment law to protect ourselves and our business', so the contract covers us totally.
However, if you do need an apprentice ( labourer ), where do you turn? We had a major problem employing from the job centre etc.
At the end of the day, people are willing to give it a go ,as you have been Fats, and we all walk away with the good the bad and ugly experiences.

Each to his/her own and people shouldn't be put off by others experiences, but should learn from them.
Congrats Fats for churning out 3-5 good lads. :RpS_thumbsup:

I still have one working for me from 5 years ago.

Oh and it tipping it down here again :RpS_crying:

Rock on !

it is a parting comment to get you all in a happy mood, however I don't sign any letters this way unless they're friends.:razz:
Why? would you like to use it ? you can for today only if you wish.

whats the weather like there? you in NI or down below?

Rock on !


Private Member
no rain today so far. am in the south just on the border.

have to go drydash walls now so hope the rain stays away.

rock on :RpS_lol:


Private Member
ive taken on apprentices in the past, and it can be a bit of a ball ache, especially with the attitude of young ones now.
the money is bugger all really it wasnt my motivation for taking one on. i did it because thats how i started out, and you need a break of somekind and give a bit back
im just considering taking one on this september but i aint fully sure yet,and i only do rendering albeit all types of rendering, but still wether they would get sufficient evidence for there nvq in solid work is questionable. im pondering on it.


TPF Special Forces
a british apprenticeship is not worth the paper it is writen on. it is not accepted in the euro.
all we have here are a load of labourers running about with a trowel in there hands.
HI Owls,

nice to meet ya.
Yeah I've had those issues and others too with attitude.
We use a lovely tool called "facebook" once we now their name etc, we check out their account. It can reveal a multitude of sins, good and positive.
Again we have taken apprentices on and they have been top dollar but others how just taken the p**S.
I am the person who will give anyone a chance, if they play fair they will get more from me than they will ever give us.

As Abraham Lincoln once said
"If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance."

good luck if you decide to take on, don,t forget the new grants.

Rock on !

Hi Malc,

I tend to disagree, I don't want to get into an argument about it as I posted the initial thread about the grants available this year for employers taking on an apprentice.
It may not suit some people but apprentices need to be trained.
The papers you refer to will be the NVQs, but at least you know they have attained a certain level of competence; this may not be on site in real situations but it is a beginning.

Malc those labourers running around with a trowel in their hands were once me and you, or did you bypass that stage and become "super human plaster man" spreading the skim for all mankind?

The colleges take a lot of weight off the small man wanting to employ someone. They may not be any good, but we have a "common standard", an NVQ is a starting point if we wish to employ.

Rock on!


TPF Special Forces
hi, now i served a 5 year apprenticeship as a plasterer starting in 1963, i was considered very lucky as the apprenticeship had just been reduced from 7 years. it was then the best paid job in the building industry.
but when i went to work in europe a british apprenticeship is not acceptable.
i know that you are only worried about the grants available ,but do not lead another group of young people to believe that they will be tradesman, when a load of labourers will be jumping in to steal money from them
Hang on a minute Malc,

I am in no way worried about the grants available, I am just informing other parties that "grants are are available" if funding is holding anyone back from taking from taking on an apprentice.
I have never said that by serving an apprenticeship you will become a time served plasterer; I have always maintained it is a starting block for future employers to consider.
As for Europe, I have worked in Germany, France not to mention Hong Kong and Australia, but then I was a proper plasterer.
You may be referring to seeking work in Europe as an apprentice?, I figure 99% of the young guys/girls wanting to enter the trade will want to work within the UK; at some point as I did may also venture into the EU to try their hand.
Good on them I say, if you never try it you will regret it however it turns out.
I feel you may have had a difficult time in Europe and so have I , but life experience is important we all learn from it.

I would never consider leading a ,"group of young people to believe they are tradesman" after an apprenticeship.

Malc, the idea is the labourers become apprentices to the trade.

At the end of the day what ever works for you works. Carry on

Rock on !
Not open for further replies.