An Introduction to Apprenticeships

Whether hiring an apprentice as a new employee or upskilling existing staff, apprenticeships are an effective way to cultivate a highly skilled, qualified and motivated workforce.

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

Working to upskill the region

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 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.

How does an apprenticeship work?

An apprenticeship works by merging on-the-job work with off-the-job training. On-the-job work is time spent developing skills and knowledge in the workplace. Off-the-job training is learning carried out outside of any working responsibilities. This training will take place at the workplace, training provider, college or online.

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

Apprentices under 19, or over 19 and on the first year of an apprenticeship are eligible to the minimum apprenticeship wage of £4.30/hr, increasing to £4.81 in April 2022. 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, they will need to be paid the national minimum wage for their age

Further information can be found here.

Employer responsibilities

As an employer you must adhere to the following responsibilities when hiring an apprentice:

  • 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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