What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are work-based learning programmes, typically lasting between 1 and 5 years. They are delivered at Level 2 all the way through to Level 7 – the equivalent of a post-graduate degree. The length of programme will vary depending on the level of study and the requirements of the chosen apprenticeship standard, typically, a level 3 apprenticeship will last between 12 and 24 months.

What makes apprenticeships particularly exciting is that they require participants to be in a practical work placement whilst they learn. This means that they will always be earning a wage whilst gaining their qualifications. Apprentices have the unique advantage of working in their chosen field; something that usually won’t happen if you choose to go to college or university.


Why become an apprentice?


Apprentices are hardworking, determined and passionate about what they do. You will need to juggle study time, assignments and exams, with a paid job.

Apprenticeships are an opportunity for individuals of all ages to earn a wage whilst they learn, and to build confidence in their workplace whilst pursuing their chosen career path

Think about the following questions:  

Do you work better in a hands-on, practical environment?

Is your chosen career something you need a real work environment to really learn?

Did you struggle in a classroom environment and feel you need a more diverse setting to learn in?

Do you want to go straight into working at least 30 hours per week?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then taking on an apprenticeship almost certainly the best route for you. 

Apprenticeships can be offered to anyone who meets the right criteria. There is no upper age limit.

Apprentices must be aged 16+, not currently undertaking another funded programme of learning, employed a minimum of 16 hours per week, currently a resident in England, a resident in the UK for the last 3 years (unless exempt) and must have the right to live and work in the UK. Even if you already have a degree level qualification, you are eligible to undertake an apprenticeship as long as you are learning new and different skills.

Apprenticeships are funded by the UK Government and by employers. There is no cost to the individual apprentice. More information about apprenticeship funding for employers can be found below.

Achieve a nationally recognised qualification

Work to gain a new or different skill in a new chosen career

Earn while you learn with on-the-job training

Improve your career prospects and increase your likelihood of promotion

Develop essential soft skills and increase your personal development

Apprentices make a real contribution to the businesses they work in. They are often highly motivated and therefore likely to stay loyal.

Apprenticeship funding can be used to up-skill existing staff so they can achieve industry recognised qualifications while working and being included in staffing ratios. They are often highly motivated and therefore likely to stay loyal.

Apprenticeships enhance the skills of employees, thereby contributing to improved performance in the workplace. They can also improve staff retention, turnover and motivation.

Apprenticeships can generate positive performance outcomes and increase productivity amongst the team.


Do you know about the apprenticeship levy?

The government apprenticeship levy was introduced to help businesses offer more apprenticeships. It was introduced to benefit businesses by increasing essential training and developing apprenticeship programmes.

Employers in England fall into one of two categories – levy payers and non-levy payers. The category a business falls into depends on their annual employee wages bill, explained below.

If a business has a wage bill of over £3 million per year, then they are a Levy-Employer. These employers pay 0.5% of their total annual pay bill into the levy monthly. If your business is turning over less than £3 million pa then the apprenticeship training you offer will attract 95% government funding. This means you will only pay 5% towards the cost, and even better still you can take advantage of the levy transfer scheme; a government initiative to help larger companies share unused apprenticeship funding with smaller companies. Large employers that pay the apprenticeship levy can choose to transfer up to 25% of their levy funds each year to other businesses, to pay for their apprenticeship training and assessment. Using the levy transfer means training will be fully funded and there is no cost to you – so it’s a win, win!

Learn Plus Us can help you make the most out of using your apprenticeship levy. Whether you’re a levy paying employer or a small business exploring your options, we will work with you to understand apprenticeship funding and maximise your return on investment.

Why choose us?

We’re able to provide a tailored, supportive programme for your staff and business

We are here to guide you through the payment arrangements and any other questions you have

We offer a free recruitment matching service meaning we can find suitable apprentices for your vacancies

We have over 10 years of experience delivering apprenticeships and our tutors are experts in their fields

We offer additional learning support and ESOL provision for those that require it

Off-the-job training explained

Off-the-job training is a statutory requirement for an apprenticeship in England. It is training which is received by each learner during their normal paid working hours, for the purpose of achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the approved apprenticeship referenced in the apprenticeship agreement. By normal working hours we mean paid hours excluding overtime.

What is NOT off-the-job- training? English and Maths (up to Level 2) which are funded separately, progress reviews or on-programme assessment needed for an apprenticeship standard, training which takes place outside the apprentice’s paid working hours.

We believe the importance for employers to recognise that they can learn from their apprentice too as the information they are gaining from Learn Plus Us is current and in line with requirements.