Hiring and firing apprentices is a serious matter

Alec Colson advises on contractual issues concerning apprentices

With TV show The Apprentice back on our screens, again dividing the nation as to the merits of each candidate, it is likely to spark debate about the benefits of utilising apprentices to help grow businesses.

Apprenticeships benefit the business and the apprentice, but despite the programme’s entertaining approach to hiring and firing, the law governing apprenticeships can be complex and the Lord Sugar approach is not a template for success.

Depending on the type of contract, there are serious considerations for a business from an employment law perspective. An apprenticeship, unlike some other fixed-term contracts, can mean a business is investing in a long-term relationship, which it cannot easily terminate.

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