Not learning anything on apprenticeship: ask the expert

I started my apprenticeship two months ago; my manager is still not contacting the lady from college. I don’t know when I will start at the college. However, I don’t feel fulfilled here. I learnt only 3 things and my employer doesn’t give me any tasks to do. Very often I am at the office doing nothing, just browsing the net. I am very upset and feel like I am wasting my time here. To be honest I would like to cancel the programme and do a different apprenticeship where I will be busy and learn a lot. What can I do?

I’m sorry you’re having such an awful start to your apprenticeship.  Your problem at the moment is how can you – a very new recruit – persuade your employer and line manager to live up to the promises they made about the apprenticeship you were offered.  It may be that your employer (or the manager) are just very disorganised, but that’s no comfort to you.

Please contact the Apprenticeship Helpline (08000 150 600) for detailed advice on how to deal with this problem if you can’t sort it out informally with your boss.

The best way of resolving a work problem like this is usually to present the evidence that you’ve got a good case and the employer hasn’t treated you fairly.  I’d suggest you dig out the paperwork you have about this apprenticeship – the original job advertisement, the letter offering you the apprenticeship, your Contract of Employment and anything else that might help.  What specific promises has the employer broken about what you’d be doing and learning on the job and at college?

You email your manager because you need a written record of your attempts to solve this problem (please note you should print off a copy of this correspondence and also BCC it to your private email address for your own records).  When you email your manager attach copies of your paperwork – the Contract of Employment, etc – and say you’d like to organise a meeting with him / her as soon as possible to get your apprenticeship back on track.  Ask the manager to fix a date for your meeting with him / her.

In your email say the on the job learning component to the apprenticeship needs to be much more structured than it is, for your employer’s benefit as well as your own.   You also need  confirmation that your course (what is it?) has been booked at the college, its start date and the contact details of the course leader at the college so you can get in touch with him / her about doing any necessary preparation.   Be polite, but show you’re determined to get answers to your questions and a resolution of the problems with the apprenticeship.

Good luck!

Comments [3]

  • Fowziyah Akhtar says:

    Ive started my apprenticeship for a Asian company last week Monday, I asked them I bought proof so I can get registered for the payroll/wage but the training staff im supposed to have she was off sick for 3 weeks so have too wait for her too come back the following week and she came back and told me she was going to do my induction but she didnt do it, i don’t know if they are wasting my time or using me because they need more helpers. I haven’t got paid at all I’m getting frustrated now.

  • Ang says:

    I’ve been doing my apprenticeship for 3 months now an I still haven’t had any study/training related to the job at all. I talked to my manager about it and they said I’d be learning as I do my job? so they won’t give me a study day and they said they might give me some lessons but that it won’t be for a whole day and won’t be every week and after the lesson I have to go back to work?. That was about 4 weeks ago and I still havent had any lessons. I feel like I’m working in a full time job instead if being in an apprenticeship

  • Anonymous says:

    I am 3 years into a teaching apprenticeship. my employer contacted me through text message last week saying "the school will not be funding the next stage of your course. you may want to take out a loan. sorry". I have to pay for my course next week and I am expected to come up with the 3 grand for my course. are they allowed to do this? They pay us minimum wage as it is so I can't afford to pay back the school. they said that they would pay for the course if we pay them back when my loan comes through. what are my rights?

    Editor: Please contact the Apprenticeship Helpline (08000 150 600) for detailed advice on how to deal with this problem.

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