Developing a sustainable and skilled workforce for the future is a challenge for most industries and it is certainly true for the land-based sector.
Given the importance of the sector both in terms of supporting nature, rural communities and the economy, it is vital that we find solutions to attract more entrants, widen the pool of applicants and increase training opportunities.
To achieve this goal, it is essential that agricultural and forestry businesses not only upskill their current workforce but that they offer opportunities to new entrants and career changers looking to work in the sector.
As a Mentor, you’re the person who guides and supports the trainee. Every mentoring relationship is different; but all mentoring relationships present the opportunity for both the Mentor and pre-apprentice to learn from each other. Mentoring allows you the opportunity to develop your existing skills and apply them within your business.
As a Mentor, you will share your knowledge, skills and guidance with a young person at the beginning of their career. Offering encouragement and supporting their development, setting boundaries and expectations, you are giving them the tools to help build their future. Mentors have the potential to make a lasting impact on their trainee. There can be no greater reward than helping a young person at the start of their working life, ensuring their success and to reach their full potential.
How Mentoring works?
As Ringlink acts as the employer, you (the Mentor) would not be required to register with HMRC as an employer or deal with PAYE*.
Ringlink invoice a Mentor charge out rate of £8.20 per hour* (up to 48 hours worked)
The Pre-Apprentice pay rate will be £6.55 per hour. However, the hourly invoice rate, governed by the SAWB, includes an accrual for the Working Time Directive holiday pay, pension contributions & statutory NI charges where applicable.
An overtime charge rate of £11.55 per hour* will apply for the Mentor. The Pre- Apprentice will receive a pay rate of £9.53 per hour (based on £6.55 p/hr pay rate).
Overtime rates will apply after working in excess of 8 hours on any day and in excess of 48 hours in any week (OT rate of 1.5 times the standard rate of pay is applicable).
*Pay Rates as at 2023.
Frequently asked questions
What is the length of the placement?
26-weeks fixed term contract with one weeks’ notice by either Pre-apprentice or Mentor.
Do I pay for holidays?
No, holidays are not payable by the Mentor. The Pre-apprentice is entitled to 15 days annual leave during the 6-month placement and their holidays are paid for by Ringlink.
How much training do they undertake?
Each Pre-apprentice can access a further £500 (after the induction) towards certificated short course training whilst on their placement. The Mentor business will be invoiced for the pre-apprentice’s time whilst undertaking training, at the current standard rate. Further training courses can be made available to the Pre-apprentice at cost to the Mentor business or unless mutually agreed between Mentor/Pre-apprentice.
What happens at the end of the 6-months placement?
Over the last 2 years, approx. 50% of Pre-apprentices who completed the programme progressed on to do a Modern Apprenticeship in Agriculture, with the majority of trainees remaining with their mentor businesses.
However, the trainee may prefer to accept an extended period of work before commencing college or travelling, other pre-apprentices opt for full time employment and some trainees register with Ringlink Services, this allows them to build up their work experience.