Apprenticeship FAQs

What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is employment-based training which provides people with the skills and knowledge they need for a specific job, future employment or career progression. It’s a paid job, working a minimum of 30 hours a week.

What does it cost?
All businesses in the UK can access government funding to assist with the cost of apprenticeship training. If you are a small business, you may only need to pay for 10% of the apprenticeship costs. Read more information about the apprenticeship levy.

As the employer, you must pay for the usual costs of employment (eg induction, salary, equipment) but there are a number of financial incentives for employers to recruit and employ apprentices.

What occupations and levels are covered?
Apprenticeships are available across a range of levels and occupations and more than 170 industries.

See our full list of apprenticeships.

How long does it take?
An apprenticeship takes between 12 months and five years to complete, depending on the level and occupation.

I’m an employer, what are my responsibilties?
When you employ an apprentice, you must:

  • ensure a contract of employment is in place
  • employ your apprentice at least 30 hours a week
  • provide an induction
  • sign an apprenticeship agreement with your employee
  • provide on the job training and support
  • pay a salary (at least apprenticeship national minimum wage, although many employers choose to pay more)
  • offer your apprentice the same benefits your other employees have.

Who is eligible?
An apprentice must be over the age of 16 and not currently in full time education. There are different funding eligibility criteria for England, Scotland and Wales. 

You can recruit an apprentice or offer an apprenticeship to an existing employee to help them develop new skills which will benefit your business and their career.

What are the benefits?
Apprenticeships offer the following benefits to the employer:

  • develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce
  • take your existing peoples’ skills and experience to the next level
  • increase productivity
  • increase employeer engagement and satisfaction
  • build loyalty
  • reduce staff turnover and recruitment costs
  • enhanced workforce planning, learning and development and talent management.

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