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What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a system for training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training, and often some accompanying study. Apprenticeships can also enable practitioners to gain a license to practice in a regulated profession.
An apprenticeship could be for you if it’s your first job, you’ve been promoted to a new role which has more responsibilities or different skills, you’re looking for a change of career, or you’re having to get a new job away from a manual role that’ll will require new skills.
More information available at: https://www.gov.uk/become-apprentice

Am I too old for an Apprenticeship?

You are never too old to start an apprenticeship! It isn’t just for someone to start a career. An apprenticeship goes beyond that- it’ll develop your job, qualifications and your career; and so will cover an expansive journey to help you become an expert. It will reignite your sense of curiosity, discovery and improvement within your job. Apprenticeships aren’t just a valuable route for school leavers, they can also be the catalyst for a career change and for pursuing missed opportunities. It’s just a new opportunity to gain more qualifications, or to update your skillset in a new industry.

How long is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship must last for a minimum of 12 months, but can vary in length for up to 24 months for Level 3 and Level 4 programmes.

What levels of Apprenticeship are there?

Apprenticeships have equivalent education levels.

Level                                    Equivalent educational level
Intermediate  2                 GCSE
Advanced 3                       A level
Higher 4,5,6 and 7            Foundation degree and above

Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma.

What is ‘off-the-job’ training (OTJT)?

Off-the-job training is learning which happens outside of the normal day-to-day working environment, and leads to the achievement of an apprenticeship. This doesn’t mean you lose your apprentice for a fixed amount of time each week. Rather, your apprentice can set aside time to develop each week.

Examples of off-the-job training include classroom training, role play, coaching and mentoring, simulation exercises, online learning, work shadowing, manufacturer training, industry visits, self-study and assignment completion.

More information available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-off-the-job-training

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

The Apprenticeship Levy is only due on annual pay bills in excess of £3 million, and is paid to HMRC through the Pay-as-you-earn (P.A.Y.E) process alongside payment of Income Tax and National Insurance contributions. It is held in a ‘digital fund’ that the employer can use to pay for apprenticeship training. A 10% contribution is added to each monthly payment by the government. Set at 0.5% of your annual pay bill, the levy is part of the government’s plans to increase the number of UK apprenticeships and improve how they are funded.

What about Employers who do not pay the Levy?

Non-levy paying employers will share the cost of training and assessing their apprentices with the government – this is called ‘co-investment’. The co-investment rate has changed for new apprenticeships starting on or after 1st April 2019. You will now pay 5% towards the cost of apprenticeship training. The government will pay the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum.

You can get funding to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment costs through ‘The Apprenticeship Service’.

More information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work#non-levy-paying-employers

How do I pay for the Apprenticeship?

You will need an Apprenticeship Service account. You’ll use your account to:

  • Get apprenticeship funding
  • Find and save apprenticeships
  • Find, save and manage training providers
  • Recruit apprentices
  • Add and manage apprenticeships

What funding can I access for short courses?

The Adult Education Budget (AEB) is a government-funded programme that can be accessed by employers and individuals to fund a wide range of training and qualifications for all adults at the age of 19 or above:

  • The funds can be used for anyone aged 19-23 to get a level 2 or 3 qualification if they don’t already have one.
  • AEB can be used to fund low-waged learners aged over 24 to get their first level 2 or 3 qualification.
  • The AEB can be used to fund anyone who is unemployed for any course or qualification up to level 2.
  • The AEB can be used to fund any low-waged individual, whose first language isn’t English, to improve their language skills up to level 2.