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What is an Apprenticeship?

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Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers, which lead to national recognised qualifications. You can use Apprenticeships to train both new and existing employees who are moving into a new or changed job role and need to learn new skills. Funding is available to train apprentices

As the employer you must give your apprentices an induction into their role and provide on-the-job training.You are also responsible for paying your apprentices’ wages.

Employment is expected to be for a minimum of 30 hours per week, except in the minority of circumstances, in these cases employment must be for more than 16 hours per week and the length of the apprenticeship will need to be increased accordingly to ensure the apprentice has gained the required level of skills and knowledge to do the job.

For all Apprenticeships, the requirement to be employed under an Apprenticeship Agreement is a condition for completion of an Apprenticeship. Without it an Apprenticeship certificate cannot be issued. The only circumstances where an Apprenticeship can be completed without an Apprenticeship Agreement being in place are covered by the specific occupations in a limited number of frameworks covered by the alternative completion conditions. Apprentice redundancy is also covered under the alternative completion conditions.

Facts in numbers

  • Over 80% of those employers who employ apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive.
  • 81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on apprentices.
  • Employers who take on a 16-18 year old apprentice only pay their salary. The Government will fund their training.
  • 92% of employers who employ apprentices believe that Apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
  • 83% of employers who employ apprentices rely on their Apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers that they need for the future.
  • One in five employers are hiring more apprentices to help them through the tough economic climate.


There are three levels of Apprenticeship available:

  1. Intermediate Level Apprenticeships - Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 2 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification.
  2. Advanced Level Apprenticeships - Apprentices work towards work-based learning such as a Level 3 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification.
  3. Higher Apprenticeships - Apprentices undertake a framework at Level 4 and above which will include a competence based qualification, Functional Skills and in some cases a broader vocationally related qualification which could be a Foundation degree.

Would you like more information on recruiting an Apprentice?