This is a qualification combined with practical work; a job that the apprentices can learn while working towards a qualification.

Apprenticeships are normally designed by sector, and developed by the business, training providers and Sector Skills Council. This ensures that the apprenticeship is tailored to the needs of each specific sector.

The apprentice spends a minimum of 30 working hours for the employer; this also includes their studying hours. An apprentice has the same rights as a normal employee. The recruitment process is also similar, and the difference is that they will be studying towards a certain qualification and learning on the job.

Apprentices must spend 20% of their time on studying. This depends on what else they may be studying for – e.g. training in English & Maths.

It is for the employer and the training provider to decide how the study is provided, but it must be relevant to the apprenticeship standard.

An apprenticeship standard includes:

  • A knowledge-based qualification – this develops the learner’s understanding.
  • A competence -based qualification – this is the level/ diploma they are working towards.
  • Functional skills in English Maths &, ICT (depends on the framework)
  • Transferable skills – communication, numeracy and information technology, employment rights and responsibilities, and skills such as team working and reflective learning.

Most assessment takes place in the workplace, but it depends on the apprenticeship. There may be some requirement that may need to be tested.

The current apprentice National Minimum Wage is £3.90 per hour. This applies for 16- 18 year olds and apprentices aged 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage, relative to their age.

Employers must comply with the National Minimum Wage, which also includes working and time spent in training.

Yes, apprentices are entitled to the same rights as other employees. They must be given at least 20 days of paid holidays per year, as well as Bank Holidays.

  • A contract long enough for an apprentice to complete their apprenticeship.
  • The role available must help them achieve a qualification, knowledge and skills that they can use in any aspect of employment through the support of the employer.
  • An agreement between the apprentice and employer, which is a contract stating the duration of the apprenticeship/employment.
  • A commitment statement signed by the apprentice, employer and the provider.
  • The apprenticeship in place for at least one year.

Yes, the selection process is like any other job application process that your company adheres to.

The funding for the training depends on a person’s age; if they are between the ages of 16-18 the government will fully fund the training cost.  When the apprentice is over the age of 19, the employer is expected to make a contribution towards the cost. This will be discussed with your training provider.

For further information on recruiting apprentices, email

Benefits to the Employer

For employers, there are many benefits to hiring an apprentice. It is a productive and effective way to grow the business:

  • Higher staff morale: Staff feel loyal to employers who have invested in their training, so they tend to be more engaged and motivated to stay
  • Cost effective training: Apprenticeships are an affordable form of training that help skill young people and train your workforce
  • U-skill existing staff: Apprenticeships can be offered to existing staff, to help develop your workforce
  • Create a talent pipeline across your organisation: Develop your future employees in the direction you want; train them towards the job skills that you require
  • Reduce recruitment costs: Apprenticeships allow you to find and develop appropriate staff more easily
  • Improve your productivity: Regularly analysing the performance and outcomes of apprentices, will help you boost productivity
  • Filling the skill gap: Apprenticeships allow employers to meet their current skills needs, and build relevant skills for the future
  • Diversifying your workforce: Apprenticeships are a great way to attract young, enthusiastic people, which help increase diversity