5. Apprentices

As an employer, in most cases, you have the same health and safety responsibilities for apprentices of all ages. For apprentices who are under 18, you have the same responsibilities as for other young workers.

The responsibilities of a training provider, unless it is an Apprenticeship Training Agency, are the same as those of a work placement organiser.

England and Wales

Apprenticeship training agency

Where apprenticeship training agency (ATA) services are used to source, arrange and find a host for an apprenticeship, the agency is the apprentice's employer. The ATA and the host organisation should work together to ensure risks are effectively controlled.

There is advice on how organisations should cooperate to ensure the same level of health and safety protection as for other workers in our guidance on gig economy, agency and temporary workers.

Training providers

Training providers include all those who arrange or fill apprentice vacancies. This includes third-party sub-contractors and those who are only involved in organising the off-the-job training element of the apprenticeship.

Employers have the primary responsibility for the health and safety of the apprentice and should be managing any significant risks. Training providers should take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that the employer is doing this.

This doesn’t mean second guessing an employer's risk assessment or risk control measures. You are not required to carry out your own workplace assessment.

Providers can rely on past experience, for example, if the employer is familiar to them and they have a good track record on health and safety. Keep checks in proportion to the environment.


Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland

All apprentices in modern apprenticeships are employed. Where a third party is involved in organising or funding the off-the-job training element of the apprenticeship, they are primarily responsible for the health and safety of the apprentice while they are doing the training and should manage any significant risks. You should satisfy yourself that the third party is doing this.

Foundation Apprenticeships in Scotland

Where a school student takes up a foundation apprenticeship and spends some time with an organisation providing vocational work experience, the employer is primarily responsible for the health and safety of the student.

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