A guide to the Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship


Having recently launched the Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship with the Publishers Association, it’s been great to see so many publishers of all sizes support this ground-breaking new initiative and take on an apprentice.

After speaking to a number of independent publishers, there seems to be misconceptions about apprentices and how they work in a smaller organisation.

An apprenticeship is effectively a supported entry-level role. The apprentice is employed by their company like any other employee, but with the additional benefit of outside training from an accredited training provider. This means that a lot of the training you would have to provide for any new starter is already covered, freeing up line managers to focus on the company and role-specific training that the apprentice requires.

The Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship is ideal for smaller independent publishers, because rather than focusing on one specific role it is a broad-based scheme covering the whole industry—from editorial to production to sales and marketing. This helps it fit with the needs of small publishers, where most employees are expected to turn their hand to multiple roles as needed. Any entry-level role in businesses with ten to 100 employees would be well suited to a Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship.

Apprentices bring a different perspective and unique approach to any business. They are open to any opportunity to learn and grow, and as such are prepared to turn their hands to anything. Here are a few FAQs about the Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship.

How much time will an apprentice take up?

No more than any other new starters—and in some ways significantly less. The majority of training that employers would need to deliver is covered by the apprenticeship provider. At the beginning you need to be prepared to give feedback often, but with the right candidate, once they are up and running, the additional support from the provider means that other than once-a-month review and coaching sessions, there is little extra time involved.

How long is the Programme?

The Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship consists of 12 months of teaching and an assessment period of up to three months.

What are the financial implications of taking on an apprentice?

You will be expected to pay apprentices a salary. In addition to this, you either fund the apprenticeship through a levy share or contribute £150 + VAT per month for 12 months. We already have a number of organisations interested in levy share, so please feel free to contact us if you would like to know more.

Does the 20% off-the-job training requirement mean they will be out of the office for a day a week?

Not at all. Publishing Assistant Apprentices would be out of the office for one or two days a month. The rest of the off-the-job training will be made up by working in the office of their employer, either online or in coaching sessions. Off-the-job training can be very flexible depending on workflows and the demands of the role.

What happens if it doesn’t work out?

Apprentices are employed on the same contract as your other employees. Probation periods and all standard employment laws apply.

Marcus Simmons is corporate partnerships manager at LDN Apprenticeships.For more information about the Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship and apprenticeships in general, click here or email Marcus Simmons.