Employ an apprentice

Hiring an apprentice can bring many benefits to your organisation.

Apprentices can;

  • match the skills of employees to the skills you need
  • increase diversity
  • upskill existing staff
  • attract the best candidates
  • reduce costs
  • create a talent pipeline across your organisation
  • improve your company image.

Apprenticeships now cover more than 170 industries and 1,500 different job roles from entry to degree level.

What is the hiring process?

There are several steps to taking on an apprentice.

  1. Find the right apprenticeship - choose an apprenticeship framework or standard. See FAQ page for frameworks and standards.
  2. Find an organisation that offer that training - The find apprenticeship training website can help.
  3. Check what funding is available - Your training provider can provide further guidance on this.
  4. Advertise your apprenticeship - your training provider can do this for you. It should be advertised on the find an apprenticeship website.
  5. Select your apprentice.

Who can I employ as an apprentice?

To employ an apprentice, you need to abide to the following terms and conditions.

Apprentices should:

  • be 16 years old or older.
  • they can be a new or current employee.
  • work enough paid hours each week to undertake sufficient training to achieve their apprenticeship.

Minimum durations for each apprenticeship are based on an apprentice working 30 paid hours a week or more. This includes any off-the-job training they do.

You must:

  • give your apprentice a contract of employment which is at least long enough to allow them to complete their apprenticeship successfully.
  • pay the cost of your apprentice's wages; you should pay them at least the national minimum wage consistent with the law for the time they are employed including off-the-job training.
  • give your apprentice a job role (or job roles) that enables them to gain knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to achieve their apprenticeship.
  • allow your apprentice to combine learning in the workplace with formal off-the-job training which usually takes place outside the normal working environment.

What apprenticeship funding is available for employers?

You can get support from the government to cover some of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice if you're in England.

You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage. You will attract more and better candidates, if the wage is higher.

The amount of funding you get depends on whether you pay the apprenticeship levy or not. The levy has been effective since April 2017.

Levy payers

You pay the levy if you're an employer with a payroll of over £3 million a year however this only applies to 2% of employers. If you qualify to pay the levy, your business has to pay 0.5% of your payroll bill to the government every month. In addition you'll receive funds to spend on training and assessing your apprentices. The government will add 10% to the paying of training and assessing your apprentice.

Levy-paying employers can transfer a percentage of their levy funds to other employers, including apprenticeship training agencies (ATAs). From April 2019 the transfer allowance percentage has been increased from 10% to 25%. For more information on apprenticeship levy transfers, please click here.

Non-levy payers

If you don't need to pay the levy, you pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. You'll need to agree a payment schedule with the training provider and pay them directly for the training. The government will pay the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum. They'll pay it directly to the training provider.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees will not have to pay anything towards the cost of training a 16-18 year old apprentice. The government will pay 100% of the training costs. The government will make similar payment if you recruit 19-24 year olds who have an Education and Healthcare Plan (EHC) provided by the local authority. All employers will receive an incentive payment of £1,000 for employing a 16-18 year old apprentice.


Contact details

Post address:
Apprenticeship Hub
Economic Growth Service
Derby City Council
Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 641631