Answers to the most common questions employers have about apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships combine paid employment with hands-on training, resulting in the achievement of a qualification. A percentage of time is set aside for learning, and the rest is spent applying knowledge and skills in an employment setting.
Apprenticeship standards map out what is required of an apprentice in their role and training. Each role has a different apprenticeship standard with specific requirements. Browse all apprenticeship standards.
The minimum length of an apprenticeship is 12 months, however, the exact length depends on the sector and level chosen. Apprenticeships can also be completed part-time over a longer period.
Earnings depend on the apprenticeship standard and employer. The government sets a minimum wage for apprentices; however, many employers pay above this. Apprentices are paid for regular working hours as well as their training. They also usually get at least 20 days of paid holiday plus bank holidays.
Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 16 or over and not in full-time education. There is no upper age limit.
Entry requirements depend on the level of the apprenticeship. Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships often have no entry requirements. However, if the individual has yet to achieve Level 2 in Maths and English, they will need to work towards this if undertaking a Level 2 apprenticeship, and achieve this if undertaking a Level 3 apprenticeship.
Many training providers will teach in the workplace rather than the apprentice having to attend college. Online training is also available.
All apprentices are allocated a workplace mentor who provides support, advice and guidance throughout the apprenticeship. Mentors attend regular progress meetings with the training provider and apprentice, and provide confirmation that the apprentice is ready to progress to their End Point Assessment.
Once the apprentice has completed their training, they will have a gateway meeting with their mentor and training provider to agree that they are ready for their End Point Assessment (EPA). The EPA usually lasts two to four months, during which the apprentice will complete two to three assessments depending on their apprenticeship standard.
After successfully completing the End Point Assessment, the apprentice achieves the apprenticeship standard for the subject and level they have been studying. They may also receive additional qualifications, such as Level 2 Maths and English or a diploma.
You can use the same recruitment processes to find an apprentice as you would any other employee (e.g. through your website, on recruitment platforms, etc). Advertising and recruitment can also be done through the National Apprenticeship Service website (you can sign up for free!).
Provided your wage bill is less than £3 million per year, the government pays 95% of training and assessment costs for apprentices, and you pay the remaining 5%. You can also apply for funding and incentive schemes to cover some or all of the remaining costs.