Apprenticeship Employers FAQ

Apprenticeship Employers Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships refer to on-the-job training leading to nationally recognised qualifications, developed by industry. The National Apprenticeship Service supports, funds and co-ordinates the delivery of Apprenticeships throughout England.
How long does it take?

An Apprenticeship will be for a minimum of one year, although the length of an Apprenticeship varies depending on prior skills levels of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and the industry sector. Generally, Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete.

What does it involve?

An Apprenticeship includes the following components:

  • a knowledge based element
  • a competence based element
  • transferable or “key skills”
  • a module on employment rights and responsibilities
How are Apprenticeships different to Modern Apprenticeships?

They are one and the same thing - Modern Apprenticeships were re-branded in 2004 to ‘Apprenticeships’. However, Apprenticeships have evolved and the choice has grown to meet today’s marketplace. For example, some of the traditional Modern Apprenticeships will now be longer and more robust so that they are more relevant. New Apprenticeships are also available which give employers much more choice for their sector, plus Apprenticeships now cover all levels from Level 2 Intermediate all the way up to Level 6 Degree.

Is there an upper age limit for Apprenticeships?
My business is struggling. How is taking on an apprentice going to help my businesses manage through it?
Even in difficult times like these, Apprenticeships are a vital way of improving the skills of staff and generating a committed and valuable workforce. When times are tough, competition for contracts is even tougher. That’s when a well-trained, extra pair of hands could make a real difference to your chances of success.
Do I receive any monetary incentives to take on an apprentice?

Subject to certain conditions you may be eligible for an incentive payment to take on an apprentice. You may also qualify for government co-funding for the apprentice’s training.

Why would I want to take on an apprentice?

Because it is good business. Skills shortages are still one of the biggest threats to UK business. Apprenticeships can help businesses across all industries by offering a route to harness fresh talent. If you have trained staff with the right skills for the job they can do a wider range of tasks and take on new responsibilities - this can help to reduce skill shortages, minimise staff turnover and workplace accidents, and increase productivity.

Yes, but what are the benefits to my business?

There are clear financial benefits to employers and their investment in Apprenticeships is repaid many times over. You’ll be able to use your training provider’s recruitment service, saving costs and time on normal recruitment. Training an apprentice means that you will be nurturing a useful member of your team, bringing in new skills and ideas and another pair of hands. Potentially your apprentice could become a long term member of staff who will grow with your business.

Which Apprenticeships are most in demand?

There are many very popular Apprenticeships available and in the Dorset and Hampshire area particularly there is high demand for: Engineering, Business Administration, Construction and Trades, Hospitality, Catering, Digital, Accountancy, Management, Care and Customer Service.

Is there a cost for employers?

Like all employees, apprentices must still receive a wage. Depending on the size of your business and the age of your apprentice, you may also need to contribute to the training costs. If your business is an Apprenticeship Levy Payer then you would pay the whole cost of the Apprenticeship training through your PAYE.

I have an employee keen to do an apprenticeship. Can I still take them on as an apprentice?
Yes. Apprenticeships are available for existing staff. They would need to be working in a relevant job role.
Are apprentices eligible for maternity leave?
Yes. Like all employees, apprentices are entitled to statutory Maternity Leave of 52 weeks with Statutory Maternity Pay for up to 39 weeks.
What are my responsibilities as the employer?
You must give your apprentice an induction into their role and provide on-the-job training. As with all employees, you are also responsible for the wages of your apprentice.
Do apprentices take exams?

Most assessment is carried out in the workplace and in class, but there may be a requirement to take some tests. Apprentices working on Standard Apprenticeships will also have an End Point Assessment with an independent assessment organisation.

How often do apprentices attend college or training sessions?
This varies from programme to programme. Some of the training can be in the work place and other sessions could be in college or with a learning provider. Depending on the type of job being done, or the elements of training being undertaken, it could be one day a week or a block release.
What’s the role of learning providers?
A learning provider is usually a local college or specialist training organisation responsible for an apprentice's off-the-job training. When you take on an apprentice they will appoint a mentor who will work with you to make sure that the training is well planned. Once the apprentice begins the mentor will follow their progress and deal with any issues that may arise.