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What Is An Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is first and foremost a job with substantial training and the development of transferable skills. It is a way for people of all ages to earn while they learn, gaining real skills and knowledge and a real future. Hiring apprentices is a productive and effective way for businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

Apprenticeships are available to businesses of all sizes and sectors in England, and can last anything from 12 months to 5 years. Apprenticeships are available in 1,500 occupations, across 170 industries, so we make sure that every apprenticeship is relevant and appropriate both for the apprentice and the business. Employment is a fundamental part of an apprenticeship. An apprentice must be employed in a job role with a productive purpose.

Did you know apprenticeship qualifications are also available for your current workforce.

There are various levels of apprenticeship available:

Intermediate Apprenticeship

(Level 2 – equivalent to five A*-C GCSEs)

Advanced Apprenticeship

(Level 3 – equivalent to two A-levels)

Higher Apprenticeship

(Levels 4-7 – equivalent to a foundation degree and above)

Degree Apprenticeship

(Levels 6 & 7 – full bachelors or master’s degree)


A separate education and training programme with work experience helping prepare young people to secure an apprenticeship or other job.

Asset Training will work closely with you to ensure that the apprenticeship offered is the most appropriate for the individual’s job role, whilst reflecting individual employer and learner needs.

The Government are committed to 3 million quality apprenticeship starts in England over this parliament.

What Training Is Involved In an Apprenticeship?

Most of the training is on-the-job, working with a mentor to learn job specific skills in the workplace.

Off-the-job training will depend on the occupational area, the training organisation and the requirements and wishes of the employer. This training may be delivered in the workplace, through ‘day release’ or at premises away from the working environment. With degree apprenticeships learners achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree as part of their programme.

On completion of the apprenticeship the apprentice must be competent in the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to undertake a full range of duties appropriate to the job. They must perform tasks confidently and completely to the standard set by the industry.

What Are My Responsibilities As An Employer?

As the employer you must give your apprentice an induction into their role and provide  on-the-job training.

You are responsible for paying your apprentice’s wages and issuing their contract of employment. As an employee, the apprentice receives the same benefits as other
employees. By employing an apprentice, you have certain requirements to meet.

  • Issuing a contract of employment and paying at least the
    Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage. Apprentices aged 16-18,
    or who are in the first year of their apprenticeship, must be paid a
    minimum of £3.70* per hour. All other apprentices are entitled to
    the National Minimum Wage for their age i.e. £5.60 per hour for
    apprentices aged 18-20, and £7.05 for those 21 and over.
    Many businesses pay more.
  • The minimum hours of employment for an apprentice should be at
    least 30 hours per week. By exception, where the individual’s
    circumstances or the particular nature of employment in a given
    sector makes this impossible, then an absolute minimum of 16
    hours must be met. In such cases the duration of the apprenticeship
    should be extended.
  • All apprentices must have an Apprenticeship Service Level
    Agreement between the employer and the apprentice.
  • Provide apprentices with the same benefits as other employees.

*The rates are usually updated every October – the current rates apply from April 2018

Information taken from:

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