An Introduction to Apprenticeships

Whether you are hiring an apprentice as a new member of staff or looking to develop existing staff, apprenticeships are an effective way to cultivate a highly skilled, motivated and qualified workforce.

Below we outline all the key information employers need to know about apprenticeships, from how they work to the apprenticeship wage and apprenticeship levels.

An Introduction to Apprenticeships

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a genuine job combined with training and assessment, that results in a qualification. It is a way for individuals to earn while they learn and develop practical skills in the workplace.

For employers, hiring apprentices is an efficient way to cultivate a well skilled, motivated and qualified workforce.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job combined with learning and assessment, resulting in a qualification. Apprenticeships allow individuals to earn while they learn and develop practical skills in the workplace.

For employers, apprenticeships are an efficient way to cultivate a well skilled, motivated and qualified workforce.

How does an Apprenticeship work?

Apprenticeships work by merging on-the-job work with off-the-job training. On-the-job work is time spent in the workplace, developing skills and knowledge. Off-the-job training is learning developed outside of working responsibilities. This training will be undertaken at the workplace, training provider, college or online.

80% of time will be spent on-the-job, and the remaining 20% off-the-job. For an apprentice working 5 days a week, this equates to 1 day off-the-job training a week.

The combination allows apprentices to gain practical skills and knowledge, directly relevant to their job role, benefitting both themselves and the employer.

How much do you pay an Apprentice?

Apprentices under 19, or over 19 and on the first year of an apprenticeship are eligible to receive the minimum apprenticeship wage of £4.81. This is the minimum amount you will have to pay an apprentice.

If your apprentice is over 19 and enters the second year of their apprenticeship, you will need to pay them the national minimum wage for their age.

Further information can be found here.

Employer responsibilities

When hiring an apprentice, employers must adhere to the following responsibilities:

  • Employers must pay the minimum apprenticeship wage of £4.30/hr, increasing to £4.81 in April 2022. Click here for more information.
  • Apprenticeships must last a minimum of 1-year (this length is dependent on the Apprenticeship Standard)
  • Employers must have an apprenticeship agreement and commitment statement with an apprentice
  • Apprentices must receive paid holiday entitlement and statutory sick pay
  • Employers must ensure their apprentice spends at least 20% of their time on off-the-job training

An apprentice must work a minimum of 30 hours a week, and no more than 40 hours.

Apprenticeship Levels and Standards

There are hundreds of apprenticeship standards to choose from at various levels. These standards are designed by employers, for employers.

The level of apprenticeship, and apprenticeship standard dictate factors such as wage, duration and funding. To view an extensive list of the apprenticeship standards, visit the Institute of Apprenticeships website.

It is important that an apprenticeship standard matches the job role to ensure an apprentice successfully completes their apprenticeship. It may be useful to review the job role and responsibilities and match them up to a standard on the Institute of Apprenticeships website.

The type of apprenticeship, and apprenticeship level is listed below.

 

Name Level Equivalent Educational Level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE’s
Advanced 3 2 A-Level passes
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
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