What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships can be used to train and develop people in almost any business or sector and now cover more than 1500 job roles. They are available across a number of different levels of role: from apprenticeships for new starters to higher and degree apprenticeships. An apprenticeship is on-the-job training available to those aged 16 and over. Apprenticeships must last for at least 12 months, typically lasting between 12 to 18 months. Depending on the sector and level, some can last up to four years.
A key component of an apprenticeship is functional skills in English and maths. This supports the apprentice's study ensuring they are both numerate and literate and able to study at the level of their apprenticeship and conduct their work role. Employees with prior qualifications can use their previous attainment in place of this training.
Throughout the time of the apprenticeship, an apprentice is trained and guided towards a skilled role within a business, often with the help of a training provider so they gain industry knowledge and the skills required to do the job. The skills, knowledge and behaviour apprentices need to develop for a job role are defined by an apprenticeship standard. Apprentices can be new recruits or come from within your existing workforce.
Why should I employ an apprentice?
To make the most of the Apprenticeship Levy, maximising investment and meeting the increased demand for soft skills—while preparing employees for a future of lifelong learning, with support and retraining throughout their career.
The benefits for your business
Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
Other benefits of working with apprentices include:
Can the apprenticeship be tailored to my business?
Yes, we design, develop, and deliver bespoke training solutions for businesses, including the assessment and provision of accredited qualifications. We adopt a partnership approach with our client when developing programme content to ensure workplace alignment.
View our latest Ofsted inspection report here
Can industry-specific qualifications form part of an apprenticeship?
Yes, however, this is dependent on the apprenticeship standard. Some standards have embedded qualifications, others do not. However, an apprenticeship is a qualification with many links to professional pathways and membership of industry professional institutions.
How much time will be needed for training?
This will be dependent on the length of the apprenticeship programme and will be calculated against your weekly working hours.
How much will the training cost my company?
The training will be paid for by your company through the apprenticeship levy and cover the cost of the desired apprenticeship standard.
Are there any incentives to employ an apprentice?
There are currently incentive payments for employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021. There are also additional incentives to employ 16–18-year-old apprentices.
Visit the Government website for more details
Can existing staff join an apprenticeship programme?
Yes, existing staff can join. There will be an initial skills scan for recognition of prior learning to make sure that apprentices will be learning new knowledge skills and behaviours from the apprenticeship programme.
Find out more about apprenticeships for existing staff
Are graduates eligible for apprenticeships?
Yes, if the apprenticeship involves a significant amount of new learning or updating outdated skills.
What is the maximum age to start an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are not age restricted, meaning if an individual is above the age of 16, they are eligible.
How much will I need to pay an apprentice?
Apprentices must be paid at least the apprentice national minimum wage for all the time they are on their apprenticeships. Please note that many employers go beyond the minimum requirements as they recognise the benefits an apprentice brings to the business and assists in staff retention.
Visit the Government website for further details
What are my responsibilities as an employer?
As a responsible employer, you will have already taken your responsibilities to your employees very seriously. Employing an apprentice is no different but it does come with some additional responsibilities that include:
Meeting employment conditions
Support their learning and development
Comply with all relevant Health & Safety legislation
Pearson TQ is very experienced in supporting employers through this process and your account manager will be on hand to guide you through this process.
How do apprentices take their off-the-job training?
Apprentices will need to agree time with their line manager to take their 20% of- the-job.
Find out more about off-the-job training
What's the minimum amount of time an apprentice should receive off-the-job training?
Off-the-job training is learning done outside of an apprentice’s normal working duties, but within their working hours. Apprentices must spend 20% of their contracted hours in off-the-job training, excluding holidays.
It includes training that is directly relevant to the apprenticeship and delivered to the apprentice’s normal place of work. It can also include regular day release, block release and special training days/workshops.
What is an apprenticeship standard?
Apprenticeship Standards replace the old SASE frameworks and have been created by groups of employers or 'trailblazer groups'.
These Standards are:
What is End Point Assessment?
End point assessment (EPA) is the final assessment for an apprentice to ensure that they have the knowledge, skills, and behaviours to do the job they have been training for. EPA is separate to any qualifications and assessments that the apprentice does during the on-programme stage of their apprenticeship. Working with an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) like Pearson to plan assessment early on in the apprenticeship will help your apprentices be ready to undertake EPA with confidence.
Learn more about EPA with our simple guide
What financial support is available when employing 16-18 year olds as apprentices?
Employers will receive an incentive payment of £1000* for hiring an apprentice aged 16-18 years old.
Visit the Government website for more details
*Most incentives are time bound so change frequently. Speak with our account manager to get the most up-to-date information.
What incentive is there for employing apprentices under the age of 25?
Employers will receive an incentive payment of £1000* for hiring an apprentice under the age of 25 with an education, health and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority.
How do I set up an Apprenticeship?
Carefully planning your apprenticeships programme is the first step towards making your programme a reality as well as making informed decisions about how you recruit apprentices.
Understand more with our simple guides:
Planning an apprenticeship programme
Apprenticeships for existing staff
What is the Apprenticeship Service?
The Apprenticeship Service is a tool developed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in partnership with HMRC to manage the movement of Apprenticeship funding between employers, the government and training providers (in the form of digital vouchers).
Find out more with our simple guide to the Apprenticeship Service
Get in touch with us to find out more about our courses or see how we can help with your training.
Our experienced and knowledgeable team will be able to answer any questions you may have.