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What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships refer to on-the-job training leading to nationally recognised qualifications, developed by industry.

Why employ an apprentice?

Apprenticeships are nationally recognised, government-backed, established qualifications specifically designed for your sector.

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.

Hiring apprentices helps businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Apprenticeships are designed for business so that you can be sure that they are completely relevant to your company and your industry.

All training is carried out on the job so you can be confident that the skills gained by an Apprentice are the ones that will help take your business forward and add value.

Apprentices work alongside your existing staff to gain on the job knowledge and experience.

What are the legal requirements for employing an apprentice?

Apprentices are employed by you and have the same rights as other employees, along with paid time for study. As employees, apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain on the job experience and skills.

For more information on employment rights, go to the website at

www.gov.uk/browse/employing-people

What is the Apprenticeship wage?

Apprentices aged 19 years and over that have completed one year of their apprenticeship are entitled to receive the national minimum wage rate applicable to their age.

Please refer to the following link for full clarification:

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage/what-is-the-minimum-wage

What are the costs to me as an employer?

Like all employees, apprentices must still receive a wage. The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £3.50 per hour. However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages – in fact, research has found that apprentices earn an average of £170 net pay per week. This though is completely at the discretion of the employer as to what additional incentives are provided.

Can I pay apprentices more?

Yes - There is no reason why you can not pay them more. It is a minimum below which they should not be paid – it is neither a standard rate, nor rate for all Apprenticeships. We always advise to pay what you can afford, and put into place any incentives internally, this though is not a mandatory requirement.

Do apprentices pay tax and national insurance?

As is the case of all employees aged over 16, apprentices must still pay tax and national insurance on their income. 

How does it work with apprentices and holidays – like term time in Colleges for example?

Like most other employees, apprentices must be given at least 20 days’ paid holiday per year as well as bank holidays. The booking of holidays at your organisation will be in line with your current policies and procedures so will not require any changes to them for employing apprentices.

What does the apprenticeship involve?

In order for an apprenticeship to be delivered, the apprentice needs to have a contract of employment in place, and be working 30 + hours a week. As part of the apprenticeship the employer will need to allow access to an assessor on average once a month for 2-3 hours, in order for the assessments to take place and assign portfolio work to be completed for the next assessment.

There needs to be a ‘mentor’ in place, assigned internally by you (this maybe the line manager or an experienced member of staff) to ensure while the apprentice is learning the job role, there is always someone hand to answer any questions or queries they may have, and provide the necessary support if needed.

An Apprenticeship includes the following components:

How long does the apprenticeship take?

The minimum time for an apprenticeship to be completed is 12 months. The minimum duration can vary depending on the qualification and level. All information on duration of each apprenticeship will be discussed with you fully prior to you making a commitment in offering an employment opportunity to an apprentice.

Do I receive any incentives in employing apprentices?

Please note: this is an application process, and Knowledge Web cannot guarantee payment of the grant. We will be more than happy to help you complete the necessary forms and send them off to be processed.

What evidence is available that employing apprentices will add value to my organisation?

The Learning and Skills Council surveyed businesses throughout the UK on benefits of hiring an apprentice (Populus, January 2009). Of those surveyed:

How is an apprenticeship designed?

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.

Are apprentices eligible for maternity leave?

Yes. Like all employees, apprentices are entitled to statutory Maternity Leave of 52 weeks with statutory Maternity Pay for up to 39 weeks.

Is there a limit to how many apprentices I can employ?

No – as an employer you can take on as many as you 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.

What is the role of the Learning Provider?

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.

I have current members of staff that would benefit doing an apprenticeship –is this possible?

Yes, as long as they meet the eligibility we can enrol them on their chosen qualification.

What are my next steps?

Either call or email Knowledge Web, or complete the contact us information on the homepage. A member of the team will call you back shortly to discuss and answer any questions or queries you may have.