For apprentices who are under 18, the employer has the same responsibilities as for other young workers. The responsibilities of a training provider, unless it is an Apprenticeship Training Agency (see below), should be considered to be the same as those of a work placement organiser – see 'Training providers' below.
Apprenticeship Training Agency (England and Wales only)
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. The health and safety toolbox temporary workers section provides more information on how organisations should cooperate to ensure the same level of health and safety protection is provided in the workplace for apprentices hosted via this arrangement as for host organisation's employees.
Training providers (England and Wales only)
Training providers include all those who arrange or fill apprentice vacancies. This includes third party sub-contractors and also includes those who are only involved in organising the off the job training element of the apprenticeship.
The employer has the primary responsibility for the health and safety of the apprentice and should be managing any significant risks. As the training provider, you should take reasonable steps to satisfy yourself that the employer is doing this
This does not mean trying to second guess an employer's risk assessment or risk control measures, and you are not required to carry out your own workplace assessment
You can rely on past experience, for example, if the employer is familiar to you and they have a good track record on health and safety. You should keep checks in proportion to the environment:
- For low risk environments, such as an office or shop, with everyday risks that will mostly be familiar to the apprentice, simply speaking with the employer to confirm this should be enough. This can be part of any wider conversation on placement arrangements that may take place.
- For environments with less familiar risks, like light assembly or packing facilities, talk to the employer to find out what the apprentice will be doing and confirm the employer has arrangements for managing risks, including induction, training, supervision, site familiarisation, and any protective equipment that might be needed.
- For higher risk environments such as construction, agriculture or manufacturing, discuss with the employer what the apprentice will be doing, the risks involved and how these are managed, satisfying yourself that the instruction, training and supervisory arrangements have been properly thought through.
Check the apprentice knows how to raise any health and safety concerns.
Work experience organisers guidance is relevant to you.
Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland
All apprentices undertaking modern apprenticeships are employed. Where a third party is involved in organising and/or funding the off the job training element of the apprenticeship, they would be primarily responsible for the health and safety of the apprentice while engaged in the off the job training element of the apprenticeship, and should be managing any significant risks. The employer would need to satisfy themselves that the third party was doing this.
Foundation Apprenticeships in Scotland
Where a student who is still at school takes up a foundation apprenticeship and some time is spent with an organisation providing vocational work experience, this will be work experience overview and the employer will be primarily responsible for the health and safety of the student.