Employing an apprentice

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.

If you would prefer a lesser commitment, there is the option to offer up to six months of general work placement to someone aged 16 to 18 looking for an introduction to the world of work, check out our traineeship schemes for more information.

What kind of apprentice are you looking for?

How is the apprenticeship designed?

Our knowledgeable team will work with you to ensure your apprenticeship program is as relevant as possible to your business operations.

This will be set around the Apprenticeship Standards that all apprentices must be assessed against.

The Apprenticeship Standards, a set of criteria designed by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. As an employer-led Non Departmental Public Body, they work with employers to ensure the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) included in the course are relevant to a specific occupation.

The KSBs are set to ensure the individual is fully competent in their chosen occupation and the business sector in which they operate.

You take a look at all of the apprenticeship standards via the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

How much will it cost me to hire an apprentice?

Apprentice Levy

Employers 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 pay bill.

Control of the funding is placed firmly in the hands of employers and organised through the DAS (Digital Apprenticeship Service).


Employers who do not fall into the levy-paying category will share the cost of training and assessing their apprentices with the government, in an initiative called ‘co-investment’.

Depending on the size of your business, and the age of your apprentice. For example, if your apprentice is over the age of 19 and you have less than 50 employees there will be no cost for the training.

However, if the apprentice is over the age of 19 and you have more than 50 employees you will contribute 10% of the training cost.

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 Gov.uk

Apprenticeship recruitment: support tools for employers and training organisations.