Employers and Apprenticeships


An apprenticeship is a competence based skill development programme, designed and endorsed by employers for their employees, which combines independently accredited work based learning, off the job training and relevant experience in the job.

Apprenticeships last between one and four years depending on the framework/job and all apprentices will have a contract of employment for at least this time frame.

Earn while you learn

  • Work for a real employer
  • Earn a real salary
  • Get a real qualification
  • Get real workplace skills and experience

Anyone living in England, over 16 years old and not in full-time education can apply.

Becoming an apprentice

With over 200 frameworks to choose from, covering over 1000 job roles. Apprenticeships are the perfect alternative to University or college, plus you get to earn money whilst you train.
Apprenticeships allow you to gain valuable skills and qualifications whilst you work to support your future career development.

Levels of Apprenticeships:

There are three levels of apprenticeship available:

  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeships for a level 2 qualification (academically equivalent to five GCSE’s grade A* to C)
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeships for a level 3 qualification (academically equivalent to an A Level education)
  • Higher Level Apprenticeships for a level 4, 5, 6 &7 qualifications (academically to a degree education)

Training provided for an apprentice

As apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, most of the training is “on the job” – in a business. The rest can be provided by a local college or by a specialist learning provider, or undertaken by the business themselves.

Working Hours

Employment must be for at least 30 hours per week, except in the minority of circumstances where the learner cannot complete the full 30 hours. In these cases employment must be for more than 16 hours per week.

Apprentice Pay

The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is currently £3.40 per hour and applies to time working, plus time spent training that is part of the apprenticeship.

This minimum wage applies to all apprentices aged under 19; and apprentices aged 19 or over in the first year of their apprenticeship. All other apprentices are entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage for their age.

However, this is a minimum level and Employers are encouraged to pay above this wage, the Governments National Apprenticeship Service report the average apprenticeship salary £8,840 a year (£170 a week).

Raising the Participation Age (RPA) is a Government policy that requires young people over the age of 16 to participate in education, training or work with training – apprenticeships form a part of this!

Being an apprentice means:

  • Being ahead of the game to start your career
  • Experiencing new and different challenges
  • Developing a number of skills that can be used across a range of jobs and industries

Find out more about apprenticeships from at the National Apprenticeship Service

View available apprenticeships

Information for Employers

What is an apprenticeship?

Businesses of all sizes have reaped the rewards apprentices can bring. Apprenticeships help to develop a skilled, motivated and qualified workforce, bring new ideas and motivated young people into your company and help build and retain a loyal workforce.

An apprenticeship is a Government sponsored programme that allows individuals to gain valuable skills and qualifications whilst at work.

Apprenticeships are available at 3 levels:

Intermediate Level 2: equivalent to 5 A to C GSCE’s

Advanced Level 3: equivalent to 2 A Levels

Higher level 4/5: equivalent to a foundation degree

All apprenticeships contain the following elements:

  • A competency based NVQ
  • A technical knowledge certificate to demonstrate understanding of theoretical concepts
  • Functional skills e.g. Maths and English
  • In most cases an apprenticeship is full time, working at least 30 hours per week

Find out more about apprenticeships from at the National Apprenticeship Service

Page last updated: 20/03/2019