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Employer Frequently Asked Questions

An Apprenticeship includes the following components:A knowledge based element. A competence based element. Transferable or Functional Skills. A module on employee rights and responsibilities. A module on personal learning and thinking skills.
So far, there are more than 250 different types of Apprenticeships available offering over 1,400 job roles – and more are being developed. They have all been developed with employers and Sector Skills Councils to ensure they meet the needs of employers. Apprenticeships are also available for a number of business support functions including business administration and finance. A full list of available Apprenticeships can be accessed here.
The National Apprenticeship Service has all the information you need to start an Apprenticeship. The National Apprenticeship Service website is your one stop shop for all the information you need about how to get started with taking on an apprentice.
Apprenticeships refer to on-the-job training leading to nationally recognised qualifications, developed by industry. The National Apprenticeship Service supports, funds and co-ordinates the delivery of Apprenticeships throughout England.
The length of an Apprenticeship varies depending on prior skills levels of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and industry sector. Generally, Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete.
Like any other business, SMEs can benefit from taking on apprentices. The National Apprenticeship Service is piloting a number of programmes to explore how the government’s support can be enhanced, taking into account the unique cost pressures that SMEs face. Currently the government is offering an Employer Incentive (AGE 16-24) The AGE 16-24 is aimed at helping eligible employers to offer young people employment through the Apprenticeship programme, by providing wage grants to assist employer in recruiting a young apprentice.
The Top 100 Employers are in four size categories; Small (1-24 employees) Medium (25-249) Large (250-4,999) Macro (5,000+) There is a mix of employer sizes across the Top 100.
The current plan is that the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers will be published for the foreseeable future.
The awards and judging process aimed to identify the Top 100 Employers who excelled in the four categories and does not rank those employers in the Top 100 – they are all doing great things with Apprenticeships.
The Top 100 was selected through the NAS awards process in the employer categories. After a rigorous selection process the most outstanding Apprenticeship employers from all four Awards categories went forward to feature in the list consisting of all the very best employers. The four size categories were small, medium, large and macro employers. The judging critieria included the following four areas: Commitment - Demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to training the workforce and plans for future development and/or growth of their Apprenticeship programme Business Benefits - Employers needed to describe the benefits that Apprenitceships have brought to their business Benefits to the apprentice - Employers were required to show that apprentices are benefiting from the training the business provides and how the apprentices have added value. Clearly showing what success looks like and how it is measured. Best practice and transfability - Employers needed to explain why they should be considered as an exemplar.
Even in difficult times like these, Apprenticeships are a vital way of improving the skills of staff and generating a committed and valuable workforce. When times are tough, competition for contracts is even tougher. That’s when a well-trained, extra pair of hands could make a real difference to your chances of success. Apprentices can also help you ready your businesses for when the economy comes out of recession. By offering a flexible resource that can help your business grow, apprentices can also give you a competitive advantage to exploit new business growth opportunities.
Employers do not receive a direct monetary incentive to take on apprentices. However, the off-job training costs are subsidised in full, or in part, by the National Apprenticeship Service.
Because it is good business. Skills shortages are still one of the biggest threats to UK business. Apprenticeships can help businesses across all industries by offering a route to harness fresh talent. If you have trained staff with the right skills for the job they can do a wider range of tasks and take on new responsibilities - this can help to reduce skill shortages, minimise staff turnover and workplace accidents, and increase productivity. Taking on an apprentice is cost effective because your people can learn while they’re on the job and the government contributes to the costs of learning.
There are clear financial benefits to employers and their investment in Apprenticeships is repaid many times over. A recent study by the University of Warwick Institute of Employment Research found that the costs of Apprenticeship training are recouped relatively quickly, and that where the investment is nurtured, the returns are significant. Another study by Sheffield University measured the long term financial benefit to investing in Apprenticeships. A Level 3 Advanced apprentice will generate an additional lifetime benefit to themselves and their employer of £105,000 compared to someone who does not gain an Apprenticeship. The Level 2 additional benefit is £73,000. This represents a gain of £16 for every £1 of taxpayers’ money.
Some of the most popular Apprenticeships at present are: Engineering, Business Administration, Construction and Hospitality.
An Apprenticeship is essentially a set of qualifications called a ‘framework’. These are developed by Sector Skills Councils. Sector Skills Councils are licensed by government to work with employers to develop National Occupational Standards and design Apprenticeship frameworks for the industries they represent.
There are more than 250 different types of Apprenticeships available offering over 1,400 job roles, ranging from accountancy to textiles, engineering to veterinary nursing, business administration to construction. They generally fall into one of three categories: Intermediate Level Apprenticeships Advanced Level Apprenticeships Higher Apprenticeships
Like all employees, apprentices must still receive a wage. More information on the National Minimum Wage can be found on GOV.UK. There is also the cost of the supervision, support and mentoring that you will need to put in place to support the apprentice. These associated costs are not insignificant - however, the National Apprenticeship Service will match employer’s commitment to hiring apprentices by covering in full, or in part, the training costs.
There are a number of elements to each Apprenticeship and this is called the Framework. This means you will get a range of qualifications as you progress through your training and education. Each Apprenticeship framework has three main strands: A competence based element A technical element A skills element The three strands are sometimes accompanied by additional qualifications to give the most relevant skills and knowledge required for the job that you are employed in.
Most assessment is carried out in the workplace but there may be a requirement to take some tests.
As is the case of all employees aged over 16, apprentices must still pay tax and national insurance on their income.
You must give your apprentice an induction into their role and provide on-the-job training. As with all employees, you are also responsible for the wages of your apprentice.
Many different industry sectors share the same skill sets. These core skills are transferable across sectors and are built into the Apprenticeship to maximise flexibility and choice for employers and apprentices. They include: Communication (mandatory). Application of numbers (mandatory). ICT. Working with others. Improving own learning and performance. Problem solving.
Like most other employees, apprentices must be given at least 20 days’ paid holiday per year as well as bank holidays.
Yes. Like all employees, apprentices are entitled to statutory Maternity Leave of 52 weeks with statutory Maternity Pay for up to 39 weeks.
This varies from programme to programme. Some of the training can be in the work place and other sessions could be in college or with a learning provider. Depending on the type of job being done, or the elements of training being undertaken, it could be one day a week or a block release.
No they can take on as many as they need – and often in more than one framework. The employer will be responsible for giving the apprentice an induction into their role as they provide on-the-job training.
A learning provider is usually a local college or specialist training organisation responsible for an apprentice's off-the-job training. When you take on an apprentice they will appoint a mentor who will work with you to make sure that the training is well planned. Once the apprentice begins the mentor will follow their progress and deal with any issues that may arise.
Apprenticeship Vacancies is an online service whereby employers and learning providers can advertise and manage vacancies, and potential apprentices can search, apply and then manage their applications for Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships opportunities anywhere in England. The system is an important part of our commitment to make services simpler and less bureaucratic to access. It is free and available on the Apprenticeships website at: www.apprenticeships.org.uk.
The system is free and available to anyone wanting to be an apprentice or for any employer or learning provider who want to advertise their placements.
Yes – providers cannot post vacancies that are not linked to a real post.
No. We operate an all-age service through the online vacancy system and endorse vacancies and recruitment based upon an individual’s ability and merit. Rejecting an application from an otherwise suitable candidate on the basis of age is likely to amount to unlawful discrimination on the grounds of age. Specifying age would be lawful if there was a genuine occupational requirement for someone of a particular age, for example someone under 18 is not be permitted to work in a bar or betting shop and therefore specifying that applicants had to be over 18 in these circumstances could be justified.

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