Information for Employers

The Square Metre provide a range of Apprenticeships across the UK.

As an employer of apprentices, there are a few things we need to be sure of before we work together.

  • – Apprentices must be provided with a contract of employment for the duration of the apprenticeship
  • – You must pay a wage consistent with the law for both the time they are in work and in off-the-job learning.
  • – Willingness to support the apprentice in gaining new skills
  • – You must not ask the apprentice to contribute financially to the direct cost of learning
  • – Provide the apprentice with paid time to attend off-the-job training, including additional support for English and Maths, or for learning difficulties and/or disabilities
  • – Recognise that the apprentice must complete the apprenticeship within their working hours
  • – Ensure apprentice spends at least 20% of their time in off the job training.

What are apprenticeship standards?

Apprenticeship standards are designed by employers, making them more relevant to a learners job role and the business sector in which they operate. Our knowledgeable team will work with you to ensure your apprenticeships are as relevant as possible to your business operations.

Apprenticeship standards are designed to standardise the skill level and learner competency in a range of qualifications. These standards can help you address a local skills gap or knowledge gap within your organisation. Many new style apprenticeships are shifting away from conventional framework approaches, to a standard approach.

The developed standards are short and easier to understand. They contain learning around relevant Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSB) that an individual requires in order to be fully competent in their chosen occupation.

Standards are either paid for by an employer using their Apprenticeship Levy contributions or an employer contribution of 10% is required.

Information about Apprenticeship Standards and the Apprenticeship Levy.

What is the apprenticeship levy?

Businesses with a wage bill over £3m must pay the apprenticeship levy.

Each employer will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment, and is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s paybill. Control of the funding is placed firmly in the hands of employers, and organised through the DAS (Digital Apprenticeship Service).

What if we are non-levy paying?

Non-levy paying employers will share the cost of training and assessing their apprentices with government, this initiative is called ‘co-investment’.

Depending on the size of your business, and the age of your apprentice, there could be a cost for the training.

  • If your apprentice is aged under 19 and your business has under 50 employees, there will be no cost for the training.
  • If your apprentice is over 19 and/or your business has over 50 employees then you will contribute 10% towards the cost of the training. Costs of the apprenticeships are deciphered in the funding bands, you can find out more about these at the Gov.UK website.

National Insurance Contributions

If you have hired an apprentice since 6th April 2016, under the age of 25 and they are enrolled on an apprenticeship, you can claim back your National Insurance Contributions for them. For some businesses this could be quite a significant saving!

If you are unsure about the relevance of the Levy to your business, or if you still have questions then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Although we do not actually provide this service directly, we can offer you free advice with no obligation and refer you to one of our carefully selected partners, dependent on your needs and location.

Resources you may find useful

Find rules and guidance at the Skills Funding Agency website – Apprenticeship funding: rules and guidance for employers

Search for Apprenticeship Standards via the Institute for Apprenticeships

Some useful tools when you are looking to hire and train an Apprentice – via

Apprenticeship recruitment: support tools for employers and training organisations