Apprenticeships Info for Employers

Ever considered taking on an apprentice? There are lots of benefits for you to do so!

We’ve highlighted some of the main points:


An Apprenticeship is a work-based programme that helps someone learn and develop the skills they require to do the job whilst working for an employer.

There are different levels of Apprenticeship:

Intermediate – Level 2
Advanced – Level 3
A Level 2 Apprenticeship is equivalent to 5 GCSEs.

A Level 3 is equivalent to 2 A-Levels.

During an Apprenticeship, as well as completing an NVQ the apprentice will take part in Functional Skills training to help improve their literacy and numeracy skills.


Here are some of the main benefits for the employer:


  • A more engaged work force – 88% of employers that employ an apprentice believe they lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
  • Employing an apprentice improves the image of the company.
  • Lower staff turnover and reduced recruitment costs – the requirement for advertising skill-related vacancies is reduced, as these positions are filled through Apprenticeships.
  • Improved efficiency – 72% of businesses that employ an apprentice report an increase in their productivity.


These are the main expectations of the employer during the course of the Apprenticeship.


The employer is required to support and mentor the apprentice and pass on their skills and knowledge. There is a requirement that a minimum 20% of their normal working hours are allocated for off-the-job training and to study and work towards their qualification. The employer should meet with the apprentice and their assessor regularly to discuss their progress, plan training and review completed tasks.
There is now a requirement for you to contribute 10% of the overall training costs at the commencement of the Apprenticeship. This applies should you take on someone who is 19 or over /  or if you take on someone who is 16-18 and have 50 or more employees.
If you take on an Apprentice who is 16-18 and have fewer that 50 employees then you will be entitled to a two stage payment of £1000 to support the salary costs of the said Apprentice.
Please note currently you do not have to pay NI contributions for the Apprenticeship for the duration of their qualification.


Apprenticeships have their own National Minimum Wage, which is £3.70 (increasing in October) for all ages in their first year. After completion of their first year apprentices aged 19 and over are then subject to the National Minimum Wage for their age group. Exact amounts can be found on the Government website using this link:

If you are a large employer i.e. you have an annual wage bill of more than £3 million then you will be subject to the new Apprenticeship Levy. HMRC should contact you with how much you need to pay. Our partner Enable have produced a simple levy guide which explains the levy in more detail.

N.B. All statistics are taken from CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development).

Further information on Apprenticeships can be found on these websites:

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