People of all ages and educational backgrounds can become apprentices, but there are some restrictions, the most important of which are as follows:
- The employer and the training provider must ascertain that the apprenticeship will allow the individual to gain substantive new skills. The training therefore needs to be materially different from any prior qualification or previous apprenticeship.
- The apprentice must be employed, usually for 30+ hours a week, and work more than 50% of their time in England.
- The period of teaching and learning must be at least 12 months and, during this time, apprentices are expected to spend at least 20% of their time in “off the job” training.
Employers that pay the apprenticeship levy are able to pay all of our costs from their apprenticeship levy account.
Employers that do not need to pay the levy, as well as large employers who have spent their levy budget, pay just 10% of the overall cost with the Government paying the balance.
For every apprentice aged 16-18, employers receive an incentive of £1,000, paid in two equal instalments in months 4 and 13 subject to the apprentice remaining on programme.
For employers with fewer than 50 employees the 10% contribution is waived for apprentices aged 16-18 on enrolment.
There is never any cost to the apprentice, although apprentices’ salaries may reflect the investment being made by the employer.