What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job with substantial training and the development of transferable skills. It is a way for people of all ages to earn while they learn, gaining a real qualification and develop their career. Hiring apprentices is a productive and effective way for businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

Apprenticeships are available to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors in England. Employment is a fundamental part of an Apprenticeship – an Apprentice must be employed in a job role with a productive purpose.

Improve your bottom line – Apprenticeships deliver real returns to your bottom line, helping to improve productivity and competitiveness. Training Apprentices can also be more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs.

Fill your skills gaps – Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business needs, providing the skilled workers you need for the future. They also help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.

Motivate your workforce – Apprentices tend to be eager, motived, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. Remember, an Apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and have a commitment to a specific career.

Who can be an Apprentice?

  • Apprentices are aged 16 and over and combine work and study for a suitable training programme ranging from Level 2 up to degree level.
  • There is no upper age limit for an Apprentice.
  • They can be new or current employees who need to develop substantial new skills.
  • English, ICT and Maths are an important part of an Apprentice’s learning programme. They will need to complete Functional Skills Qualifications if they don’t have the requisite grades on entry. Apprentices without English or Maths at Level 1 must achieve this level and take the test for Level 2 before the end of the Apprenticeship.
  • They must work with experienced staff, have a mentor and learn job specific skills.
  • They must spend 20% or more of their time in off-the-job training.
  • They must be paid at least minimum wage and have the same rights as any other employee.